Critical patient’s comfort: strategies to reduce environmental noise levels

Telma Ramos*, Filipa Veludo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review



Background: Noise may have harmful effects. For critically ill patients, highlights have main consequences cardiovascular disorders, reduction of arterial oxygen saturation, increase in gastric secretion, stimulation of the pituitary gland, sleep disturbance, immunosuppression and reduction of the cicatrisation process [1]. Noise has an overall negative impact on patients’ recovery. Identification and dissemination of strategies to reduce environmental noise empowers nurses towards changes in their professional practice. Objective: Identify evidence in Literature of nursing care strategies to reduce environmental noise in critical patient care. Methods: This research was conducted in two phases. 1st Phase: Mediated by an integrative literature review (16/04/2017) we carried out data-base research through the Academic Search Complete; Complementary Index; CINAHL Plus with Full Text; Directory of Open Access Journals; Supplemental Index; Psychology and Behavioural; Sciences Collection; SPORTDiscus with Full Text; RCAAP; SciELO; Europeana; Business Source Complete; Education Source; IEEE Xplore Digital Library; MedicLatina; JSTOR Journals; PsycARTICLES; ScienceDirect. Descriptors: (TI (Noise*or sleep*) AND (Nurs*) AND (intervention or care or patient care or care plan* or critical care), non-temporal. Inclusion criteria: Primary, secondary, opinion/reflexion studies. Exclusion Criteria: Paediatrics context, REM, pharmacological intervention. From the initially 441 articles obtained, we excluded 391 by reading abstracts, 22 by summary and 15 by the complete text, concluding with 13 articles as final sample. 2nd Phase: Content analysis according to [2] in order to categorize results. Results: We have identified 6 feasible categories for environmental noise reduction, which we present as main strategies: Behavioural changes (creation of awareness to the importance of the tone of voice and silent handling of equipment and materials); Material and Equipment management (mobile phones, televisions and radios volume configuration; determination of correct parameters for alarm configuration); Management of silence promotion care (implementation of periods of silence, avoid noisy tasks); Training in environmental noise (behavioural change programs and health education about negative effects of noise); Care quality control (usage of ear plugs); Others (infrastructural adaptations, encourage suppliers to produce more silent products). Conclusions:
This study systematizes strategies to be implemented by nursing professionals in order to reduce environmental noise within health structures and improve patient comfort. The implementation of a silence culture enables an adequate and essential physical environment to patient recovery [3]. Empower nurses with the identified strategies allows the improvement of people’s quality of life. The shortage of published research reflects the need of forward research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP27
Pages (from-to)104-104
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


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