The effectiveness of environmental strategies on noise reduction in a pediatric intensive care unit: creation of single-patient bedrooms and reducing noise sources

J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2015 Jul;20(3):210-7. doi: 10.1111/jspn.12116. Epub 2015 May 6.


Purpose: Noise is a substantial problem for both patients and healthcare workers in hospitals. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of environmental strategies (creating single-patient rooms and reducing noise sources) in noise reduction in a pediatric intensive care unit.

Design and methods: Noise measurement in the unit was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, measurements aimed at determining the unit's present level of noise were performed over 4 weeks in December 2013. During the month following the first measurement phase, the intensive care unit (ICU) was moved to a new location and noise-reducing strategies were implemented. The second phase, in May 2014, measured noise levels in the newly constructed environment.

Results: The noise levels before and after environmental changes were statistically significant at 72.6 dB-A and 56 dB-A, respectively (p < .05).

Practice implications: Single-patient rooms and noise-reducing strategies can be effective in controlling environmental noise in the ICU.

Keywords: Noise control; noise source; pediatric intensive care; single-patient room.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Health Facility Environment
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Noise / prevention & control*
  • Noise, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Patients' Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior