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Jamie Mackrill, Rebecca Cain, Paul Jennings, Michelle England
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 22, Iss. 7, 10 Apr 2013, pp 387 - 393

Hospital sound has been well documented through acoustic measurement and the classification of its adverse effects on patients and nurses. However, little consideration has been given to how the perception of these unavoidable soundscapes can be improved. For instance, does a better understanding of the variety of sounds improve patients' feeling? This paper begins to answer this and documents a pilot questionnaire-based study looking at the effects and potential benefits of sound source information (SSI) on patients' subjective reactions to a ward soundscape. The study was carried out from July to September 2011 with 31 patients in a cardiothoracic ward. Although strong inferences were not made, it was found that this simple intervention created a 21-26% positive change perception (p<0.05). The paper discusses the results in relation to nursing practice, concluding that SSI could be beneficial in helping patients to feel more comfortable.

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