Development and implementation of a noise reduction intervention programme: a pre- and postaudit of three hospital wards

Annette Richardson, Abigail Thompson, Elaine Coghill, Iain Chambers, Chris Turnock

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    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aims By developing, implementing and delivering a noise reduction intervention programme, we aimed to attempt to reduce the high noise levels on inpatient wards. Background Sleep is essential for human survival and sleep deprivation is detrimental to health and well being. Exposure to noise has been found to disrupt sleep in hospitalised patients which is to be expected as noise levels have been measured and reported as high. Design A primarily nursing focused, multi-method approach, involving development of clinical guidelines, ward environment review and a staff noise awareness and education programme, was used to target mainly nursing staff plus other healthcare staff on three wards within one hospital. Methods This practice development initiative was carried out in three key phases (1) Preaudit of ward noise levels, (2) The development, implementation and delivery of a noise reduction intervention programme, (3) Postaudit of ward noise levels. Results Preintervention average peak decibel levels over 24 hours were found to be 96·48 dB(A) and postintervention average peak decibel levels were measured at 77·52 dB(A), representing an overall significant reduction in noise levels (p <0·001). Conclusions This study describes one way to reduce peak noise levels on inpatient hospital wards. Relevance to clinical practice Sleep deprivation is detrimental to patients with acute illness, so any developments to improve patients’ sleep are important. Nurses have a key role in leading, developing and implementing changes to reduce peak noise levels on inpatient wards in hospitals. This nurse-led practice development programme has demonstrated how improvements can be achieved by significantly reducing peak noise levels using simple multi-method change strategies
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3316-3324
    JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
    Volume18
    Issue number23
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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