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

Authors

  • Diana S. Pope,

    Corresponding author
    1. Nursing Research Department (P2NR), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239
    2. National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Portland, OR
    • Nursing Research Department (P2NR), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239
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    • Nurse Scientist.

  • Frederick J. Gallun,

    1. National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Portland, OR
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    • Research Investigator.

  • Sean Kampel

    1. National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Portland, OR
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    • Research Audiologist.


  • This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Health Services Research Development Nursing Research Initiative (NRI-08-120).

  • Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.

  • §

    Presentation of preliminary study results was made at the annual conference of the American Academy of Communication in Healthcare in Scottsdale, AZ in October 2010.

Abstract

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. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36:228–241, 2013

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