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Using scent and music in a waiting room to positively influence patients'healthcare experience - A field experiment in a plastic surgery practice

Loock, Caroline (2012) Using scent and music in a waiting room to positively influence patients'healthcare experience - A field experiment in a plastic surgery practice.

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Abstract:“The number of people choosing to have plastic surgery has soared in recent years” (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2011). Because of this growing number and the heterogeneity of this patient group, plastic surgery is an interesting field of research which has almost been neglected until today. This research project investigates the possibilities of sensory marketing to improve the healthcare experience of plastic surgeons’ patients. The research question is: How can scent and music be used in a waiting room of a plastic surgeon to positively influence the healthcare experience of patients? More specifically, the research project aims to find out how two selected environmental features (scent and music) can be used for both: to lower patients’ level of anxiety while waiting, and to improve patients’ perception in regards to the waiting environment and the perceived waiting time duration. To test these, a field experiment within the practice environment of a German plastic surgeon was conducted. For the selection of stimuli two pre-tests have been conducted before the main experiment started. Based on the results of these two pre-tests, lavender scent and instrumental music with nature sounds were used for the preparation of the experimental conditions in the waiting room. These two have been evaluated as the most pleasant and the most relaxing drivers in the conducted pre-tests that compared different music styles and different scents with each other. For the field experiment a survey with questionnaires was developed to collect first hand data. Results showed a significant interaction effect of lavender scent and instrumental music with nature sounds on patients’ level of anxiety. Both reduced anxiety, but only if these were used separately. If used together they did not reduce anxiety. These results were interpreted and explained with the help of Berlyne’s arousal theory (Berlyne, 1960). No significant effects of scent and/or music on evaluation of waiting environment and perceived waiting time duration were found.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Practice for plastic surgery, Recklinghausen, Germany
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62185
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