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Scholar's Report

Research: Is there a relationship between seasonal changes in daylight hours and clinical measurements in patients following deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery?

2016/02 - Rona Inniss


Introduction: Previous research on circadian rhythms and daylight exposure demonstrates a relationship between metabolism and mental health (Ljubi?i? et al. 2007). Literature on sleep deprivation and daylight exposure shows effects on staff health (Alimoglu & Donmez 2005). Nevertheless there is little robust research into the effect of daylight on patients and on their subsequent clinical outcomes. As a result there is minimal research into the impact of hospital design on clinical outcomes, particularly on the effect of allowing ingress of natural light into healthcare environments.

Aim: This study seeks to understand if exposure to daylight in patients following DBS surgery effects patient outcomes. It is hoped that the long term outcome will be to recognise the significance of light on hospital and healthcare design.

Methods: This is a feasibility study and outcome measures were primarily based on the achievability of collecting the required data. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used.

Findings: This feasibility study demonstrates that casenote thematic analysis, using a semantic inductive approach, is an appropriate methodology (Braun & Clarke 2006). Although the sample size was small and statistical significance cannot be drawn from the findings, clinical significance may be inferred. The data collected were poor quality and combined with the small sample size no statistically significant results emerged. Post-operative complications were identified but the potential effect of daylight was not shown, potentially due to the small sample size. The findings showed a statistically nonsignificant but potentially clinically significant difference in neuropsychiatric complications in winter and summer admissions.

Conclusion: This study has demonstrated potential areas for improvement/ modification in nurse led clinics to increase the early detection of post-operative complications. Areas for the multidisciplinary team to modify practice and improve patient outcomes were also identified.