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A calming space: How sensory modulation rooms can help soothe in times of stress
We can all think of a private, soothing, quiet space that makes us feel calm, and it’s not often we think of those spaces as existing in a busy urban hospital. However, new research released last week is shining light on how sensory modulation rooms (SMRs) in acute care settings can provide a less intrusive alternative to medication or potentially counterproductive behavioral control methods such as restraint and seclusion.
SMRs are specially designed therapeutic spaces that help individuals understand how they are affected by, and respond to, external stimuli. Through gaining this knowledge, the SMR user can develop strategies to help regulate their response to future events and challenges. This is particularly important for people who may struggle with their mental health.
PLOS ONE has recently published research from CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Skye Barbic and Blaine Bray, Program Director of Mental Health at St. Paul’s Hospital. Along with a team from UBC and Providence Health Care, the group explored how select groups of people perceive the use of SMRs in an acute inpatient psychiatric setting.