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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2014 Nov;19(6):673-8.

The effect of earplugs and eye mask on patients' perceived sleep quality in intensive care unit.

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Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



Sleep is one of the basic human needs and sleep deprivation causes numerous undesirable effects on the human body and mind, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU) patients. It seems that noise and light are important environmental factors interrupting sleep in these patients. This study was carried out to determine the effect of earplugs and eye mask on Iranian patients' sleep quality in ICU.


In this cross-over clinical trial, 50 patients in the ICUs of Al-zahra Medical Center in Isfahan in 2012 were selected by convenient sampling method and randomly assigned to two groups. In group A, patients wore earplugs and eye mask in the first night during their sleep and slept without earplugs and eye mask in the second night, and the intervention was conversely conducted in group B. Verran and Snyder-Halpern Sleep Scales were used to measure the patients' sleep quality. The data were analyzed by paired t-test, independent t-test, one-sample t-test, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) through SPSS version 18.


Effect of the intervention on sleep effectiveness was positive, and there were significant differences (P < 0.001) between treatment night and control night, and also within each group (P < 0.001). Effect of the interventions on sleep disturbance was positive, and there was a significant difference at treatment night compared to the control night between groups and within each group (P < 0.001). Also, the mean scores for sleep supplementation were measured after the second night, and the results showed the scores significantly increased in the intervention group compared to the control group (P < 0.001, ER = 47, F = 22.1). In addition, carryover effects for sleep efficiency and sleep disturbance were positive, but periodic effects for sleep efficiency and sleep disturbance were negative and positive, respectively.


: Although wearing earplugs and eye mask is a cost-effective and safe method and can improve perceived sleep quality in ICU patients, further research is needed to demonstrate the effect of this method.


Earplugs; Iran; eye mask; intensive care units; sleep


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