Environmental noise levels in hospital settings: A rapid review of measurement techniques and implementation in hospital settings

Rory Wallis, Emma Harris, Hyunkook Lee, William Davies, Felicity Astin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Hospitals provide treatment to improve patient health and well-being but the characteristics of the care environment receive little attention. Excessive noise at night has a negative impact on in-patient health through disturbed sleep. To address this hospital staff must measure night-time environmental noise levels. Therefore, an understanding of environmental noise measurement techniques is required. In this review, we aim to 1) provide a technical overview of factors to consider when measuring environmental noise in hospital settings; 2) conduct a rapid review on the equipment and approaches used to objectively measured noise in hospitals and identify methodological limitations. Design: A rapid review of original research articles, from 3 databases, published since 2008. Studies were included if noise levels were objectively measured in a hospital setting where patients were receiving treatment. Results: 1429 articles were identified with 76 included in the review. There was significant variability in the approaches used to measure environmental noise in hospitals. Only 14.5% of studies contained sufficient information to support replication of the measurement process. Most studies measured noise levels using a sound level meter positioned closed to a patient’s bed area in an intensive care unit. Conclusion: Unwanted environmental noise in hospital setting impacts negatively on patient and staff health and well-being. However, this literature review found that the approaches used to objectively measure noise level in hospital settings have been inconsistent and poorly reported. Recommendations on best-practice methods to measure noise levels in hospital environments are provided.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNoise and Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Jan 2020

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Noise
Health
Practice Guidelines
Intensive Care Units
Sleep
Databases
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics
Research

Cite this

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title = "Environmental noise levels in hospital settings: A rapid review of measurement techniques and implementation in hospital settings",
abstract = "Background: Hospitals provide treatment to improve patient health and well-being but the characteristics of the care environment receive little attention. Excessive noise at night has a negative impact on in-patient health through disturbed sleep. To address this hospital staff must measure night-time environmental noise levels. Therefore, an understanding of environmental noise measurement techniques is required. In this review, we aim to 1) provide a technical overview of factors to consider when measuring environmental noise in hospital settings; 2) conduct a rapid review on the equipment and approaches used to objectively measured noise in hospitals and identify methodological limitations. Design: A rapid review of original research articles, from 3 databases, published since 2008. Studies were included if noise levels were objectively measured in a hospital setting where patients were receiving treatment. Results: 1429 articles were identified with 76 included in the review. There was significant variability in the approaches used to measure environmental noise in hospitals. Only 14.5{\%} of studies contained sufficient information to support replication of the measurement process. Most studies measured noise levels using a sound level meter positioned closed to a patient’s bed area in an intensive care unit. Conclusion: Unwanted environmental noise in hospital setting impacts negatively on patient and staff health and well-being. However, this literature review found that the approaches used to objectively measure noise level in hospital settings have been inconsistent and poorly reported. Recommendations on best-practice methods to measure noise levels in hospital environments are provided.",
keywords = "Noise, Indoor environment, Hospital, Sound level, Measurement technique",
author = "Rory Wallis and Emma Harris and Hyunkook Lee and William Davies and Felicity Astin",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
day = "16",
language = "English",
journal = "Noise and Health",
issn = "1463-1741",
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T1 - Environmental noise levels in hospital settings

T2 - A rapid review of measurement techniques and implementation in hospital settings

AU - Wallis, Rory

AU - Harris, Emma

AU - Lee, Hyunkook

AU - Davies, William

AU - Astin, Felicity

PY - 2020/1/16

Y1 - 2020/1/16

N2 - Background: Hospitals provide treatment to improve patient health and well-being but the characteristics of the care environment receive little attention. Excessive noise at night has a negative impact on in-patient health through disturbed sleep. To address this hospital staff must measure night-time environmental noise levels. Therefore, an understanding of environmental noise measurement techniques is required. In this review, we aim to 1) provide a technical overview of factors to consider when measuring environmental noise in hospital settings; 2) conduct a rapid review on the equipment and approaches used to objectively measured noise in hospitals and identify methodological limitations. Design: A rapid review of original research articles, from 3 databases, published since 2008. Studies were included if noise levels were objectively measured in a hospital setting where patients were receiving treatment. Results: 1429 articles were identified with 76 included in the review. There was significant variability in the approaches used to measure environmental noise in hospitals. Only 14.5% of studies contained sufficient information to support replication of the measurement process. Most studies measured noise levels using a sound level meter positioned closed to a patient’s bed area in an intensive care unit. Conclusion: Unwanted environmental noise in hospital setting impacts negatively on patient and staff health and well-being. However, this literature review found that the approaches used to objectively measure noise level in hospital settings have been inconsistent and poorly reported. Recommendations on best-practice methods to measure noise levels in hospital environments are provided.

AB - Background: Hospitals provide treatment to improve patient health and well-being but the characteristics of the care environment receive little attention. Excessive noise at night has a negative impact on in-patient health through disturbed sleep. To address this hospital staff must measure night-time environmental noise levels. Therefore, an understanding of environmental noise measurement techniques is required. In this review, we aim to 1) provide a technical overview of factors to consider when measuring environmental noise in hospital settings; 2) conduct a rapid review on the equipment and approaches used to objectively measured noise in hospitals and identify methodological limitations. Design: A rapid review of original research articles, from 3 databases, published since 2008. Studies were included if noise levels were objectively measured in a hospital setting where patients were receiving treatment. Results: 1429 articles were identified with 76 included in the review. There was significant variability in the approaches used to measure environmental noise in hospitals. Only 14.5% of studies contained sufficient information to support replication of the measurement process. Most studies measured noise levels using a sound level meter positioned closed to a patient’s bed area in an intensive care unit. Conclusion: Unwanted environmental noise in hospital setting impacts negatively on patient and staff health and well-being. However, this literature review found that the approaches used to objectively measure noise level in hospital settings have been inconsistent and poorly reported. Recommendations on best-practice methods to measure noise levels in hospital environments are provided.

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KW - Indoor environment

KW - Hospital

KW - Sound level

KW - Measurement technique

M3 - Article

JO - Noise and Health

JF - Noise and Health

SN - 1463-1741

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