The effects of noise levels on pain, anxiety, and sleep in patients
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Background Intensive care is a noisy environment for patients and one that affects pain, anxiety levels, and sleep quality. Aims and objectives To determine the relationship between noise levels and pain, anxiety, and sleep levels in patients in intensive care units. Design A descriptive and observational study design was used. Methods This study was conducted between June and December 2018 in a public hospital and included 111 patients admitted to surgical critical care for at least 24 hours. Three Benetech Gm1351 manual sound level metres were used to measure noise. A Patient Information Form, a pain Visual Analog Scale (VAS), the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Richards Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ) were used for data collection. Results The mean age of the patients was 57.29 years. The mean noise level detected in the intensive care unit was 66.52 dB (dB). Patients' mean pain VAS score was 3.79 +/- 1.72, the mean State Anxiety Inventory score was 39.74 +/- 2.98, and the mean total RCSQ score was 25.10 +/- 13.17. Our findings show that patients in the intensive care unit are exposed to high noise levels and that, while this has no effect on pain, it significantly impacts anxiety and quality of sleep. Conclusions Noise levels in intensive care units significantly exceed recommended thresholds, and this adversely affects patients' anxiety levels and sleep quality. It is important for suitably restful conditions to be provided for patients, to be aware of the potential for anxiety, and for these factors to be borne in mind when planning nursing interventions. Relevance to clinical practice Further studies on the effects of noise levels on pain, anxiety, and sleep levels in patients admitted to intensive care units are needed.