Effectiveness of using eye mask and earplugs on sleep length and quality among intensive care patients: A quasi-experimental study

Int J Nurs Pract. 2019 Jun;25(3):e12740. doi: 10.1111/ijn.12740. Epub 2019 May 14.


Aim: This study aims to assess the effect of using a combination of eye mask and earplugs on the perceived quality of sleep among patients admitted to intensive care units.

Design: Control group, pretest and posttest, quasi-experimental design was used.

Methods: Data were collected from 103 intensive care patients in two governmental hospitals in Jordan. The participants were assigned either an experimental or a control group. The experimental group participants received routine care in the first night and used the eye mask and earplug during their sleep in the second night. Control group participants, on the other hand, received routine care only in both nights. The number of hours slept was reported by nurses, and the perceived quality of sleep was self-reported by participants using the Richards-Campbell Sleep Scale.

Results: Experimental group participants slept more hours and reported significantly better perceived quality of sleep after the use of eye mask and earplugs, as compared both with themselves in the first night and with control group participants.

Conclusion: Combining eye masks and earplugs is effective in prolonging the sleep of intensive care patients and improving its quality.

Keywords: ICU patients; earplugs; eye mask; patients' quality of sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Ear Protective Devices*
  • Eye Protective Devices*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Jordan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Research Design
  • Self Report
  • Sleep*