Source-specific analysis of the noise in an intensive care unit

M.H. Park, A.G. Kohlrausch, W.P.J. Bruijn, de, P.C. Jager, de, K. Simons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

194 Downloads (Pure)


High noise levels in hospitals are often linked to various negative effects on patient outcome and work performance of clinical staff. Despite growing research attention on the adverse acoustic conditions in healthcare environments, few studies offer on-site surveys collected for a relatively long period with a clear description of the measurement protocol, and furthermore, the sources of noise in hospitals are not well documented in the literature. In the current study, the soundscape of an ICU (intensive care unit) room was analysed based on a ~3-day calibrated audio recording, from which acoustic parameters were obtained off-line. In addition, a selected 24-hour recording was annotated, which enabled a source-specific analysis, excluding the patient-generated/-involved contributions. The results showed that the acoustic energy of the noise in this ICU room was attributed to speech and other activities by staff (57%), alarms (30%) and the operational noise of medical devices (13%). In addition, the analysis of the number of loudness peaks showed similar but more uneven proportions: staff (94%), alarm (5%) and device noise (1%). The current study suggests that, to a considerable extent, the noise in ICUs may be attributed to potentially modifiable factors, e.g., staff’s speech and activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, September 15-18, 2013
Place of PublicationInnsbruck
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event42nd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering (Inter-noise 2013) - Innsbruck, Austria
Duration: 15 Sept 201318 Sept 2013
Conference number: 42


Conference42nd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering (Inter-noise 2013)
Abbreviated titleInter-Noise 2013
OtherInternoise 2013 Conference


Dive into the research topics of 'Source-specific analysis of the noise in an intensive care unit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this