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New researcher profile: Thomas Lindén

News: Apr 29, 2013

The environment in which patients are cared for in a hospital influences their rehabilitation process. Of this, Thomas Lindén, associate professor and specialist physician in neuroscience and psychiatry at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, is absolutely sure.

– There are many and well-founded studies that show that one can influence patients' healing through action that transcends the accepted medical framework. Biologic interventions are certainly not the only way of healing damage to the human consciousness and intellect. Myself, I've worked with research projects at the Sahlgrenska Centre for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation (CBR), where patients with various kinds of brain damage, such as stroke and Parkinson's Disease, have been doing rhythmics and listening to music with favourable impact on their health.
– In this context, one often talks about research on a so-called enriched environment. It is for instance possible to create this through various kinds of physical and social activities. Another way, which I personally find very exciting, is what one calls sensory stimulation. It may revolve around various types of culture activities, but also around creating more vivid environments in the hospital.

So the hospital environment may have significance for healing processes?
– Absolutely. There are strong studies that reveal the importance of environments that stimulate the senses. For instance, in a very famous study one investigated a hospital room where half of the patients were lying in their beds with a view of a brick wall, while the other half were able to gaze at a forest. The study clearly showed that the patients who had the more pleasant view used less painkillers, needed fewer days in the ward and were in better shape when they were discharged.

Click here to read the whole interview.

BY: Daniel Brodén

Page Manager: Lovisa Aijmer|Last update: 1/16/2012
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