Noise pollution and its effects on medical care workers and patients in hospitals|
Juang, D. F.; Lee, C. H.; Yang, T. & Chang, M. C.
The objectives of this study are to investigate the levels of noise pollution in some hospitals in Taiwan and to study the effects of noise pollution on the physiological and psychological reactions and annoyance response of medical care staff, patients and visitors in these hospitals. An instrument for the measurement of sound level was used and a self-answered survey questionnaire on noise pollution was administered. Results showed that the daily average sound levels measured inside these hospitals during daytime were between 52.6 and 64.6 decibels. These are higher than the current daytime environmental noise limit of 50 decibels in Taiwan. Most nursing staff members expressed that "talking of visitors or patient's family members" is the major source of noise inside the wards, whereas "talking of visitors or patient's family members" and "children playing" are the two major noise sources outside the wards. However, most patients or visitors claimed that "doors opening or closing" and "patients moaning or crying" are the two major sources of noise inside the wards. "Footsteps," "renovation of hospitals," "talking of visitors or patient"s family members," "shouting of nursing staff" and "doors opening or closing" are the five major noise sources outside the wards. To conclude, noise pollution inside and outside the wards either directly or indirectly affects, in a simultaneous manner, the subjective perception of noise, emotions, physiology and experience of noise inside and outside the wards of both the medical care staff and the patients and visitors.
Ambient noise; Annoyance response; Sound levels; Subjective perception