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Res Nurs Health. 2013 Jun;36(3):228-41. doi: 10.1002/nur.21540. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Effect of hospital noise on patients' ability to hear, understand, and recall speech.

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Nursing Research Department (P2NR), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Speech intelligibility and recall were examined in normally hearing and hearing-impaired hospitalized patients. Fifty-two participants completed testing in a sound-attenuated booth. While listening to a recorded male speaker talking at conversational level, participants were asked to identify and remember the last (key) word in each of a series of five sentences presented in hospital noise with or without voices at three decibel levels (59, 64, and 69 dBA). Noise level and sentence context had the largest impact on key word identification (p < .001). Noise level had the largest impact on key word recall (p < .001). Type of hospital noise and hearing loss also significantly influenced performance on both measures. These findings have implications for healthcare providers communicating with hospitalized patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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