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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2014 Mar;19(2):107-12.

The effects of earmuff on physiologic and motor responses in premature infants admitted in neonatal intensive care unit.

Author information

  • 1Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  • 2Department of Pediatric Nursing Education, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  • 3Department of Pediatric Nursing Education, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



Continuous high-intensity noise in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is stressful for premature infants and its reduction is considered as a nursing care. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of earmuffs' use on the physiologic and motor responses of premature infants.


This is a clinical trial conducted on 64 premature infants admitted to the NICU, who met the inclusion criteria, and were randomly assigned to study and control groups. Earmuffs were used for premature infants for 2 h in the morning and 2 h in the afternoon for two consecutive days to reduce the noise intensity in the busiest time of the NICU. The group with earmuff (study group) was compared with the control group receiving only routine care. Infants' physiologic and motor responses were observed before, during, immediately, and 1 h after the intervention. Analysis of covariance and repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyze the data.


When infants wore the earmuffs, they had significantly higher mean arterial oxygen saturation, the less frequent motor response, and a decrease in their pulse and respiratory rate.


Paying attention to environmental noise can help the patients, especially the neonates in the NICU, and can be considered as a nursing care. Wearing earmuffs can protect premature infants against noise in the NICU and improve their physiological and motor state.


Intensive care units; Iran; noise; nursing; premature infants

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