Achieving a healthy sound environment in hospitals

Kerstin Persson Waye, Erica Ryherd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A large number of studies show that hospitals are unacceptably noisy. Up to date no study has measured noise levels in intensive care units or neonatal wards that comply with the WHO recommendations. Furthermore, sound levels in hospitals have risen since the 1960s. The noise origins mainly from: (1) operational activities generated by the staff in their care giving activities and communication, (2) medical equipment and alarms and (3) structural sounds from the building such as ventilation and closing doors. While some sounds are unavoidable, many are totally or partially unnecessary. Noise in hospitals has been suggested to increase the risk for cardiovascular response, pain, intensive care delirium, fragmented sleep and reduced recuperation. For patients, the cause of these outcomes is multi-factorial, however the impact of the sound environment can, as opposed to most other factors, be abated. For the personnel, noise may cause annoyance, stress, tiredness and lead to more errors however these outcomes are less well investigated. The paper will give a summary of what is known today, specifically focusing on the outcomes from intervention studies of the physical environment and point to the most important areas for further improvements in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013
Subtitle of host publicationNoise Control for Quality of Life
PublisherOAL-Osterreichischer Arbeitsring fur Larmbekampfung
Pages38-45
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781632662675
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Event42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life, INTER-NOISE 2013 - Innsbruck, Austria
Duration: Sep 15 2013Sep 18 2013

Publication series

Name42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life
Volume1

Other

Other42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life, INTER-NOISE 2013
CountryAustria
CityInnsbruck
Period9/15/139/18/13

Keywords

  • Hospital
  • Noise
  • Patients
  • Personnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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  • Cite this

    Waye, K. P., & Ryherd, E. (2013). Achieving a healthy sound environment in hospitals. In 42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life (pp. 38-45). (42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life; Vol. 1). OAL-Osterreichischer Arbeitsring fur Larmbekampfung.