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Hospital noise pollution: an environmental stress model to guide research and clinical interventions

Authors


Margaret Topf Dr School of Nursing, Box C-288, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East 9th Avenue, Denver, CO 80262, USA. E-mail: margaret.topf@uchsc.edu

Abstract

Hospital noise pollution: an environmental stress model to guide research and clinical interventions

This commentary provides an expanded environmental stress model. Conceptual relationships between ambient stressors, ambient stress, and health are detailed. A three-part intervention, enhancement of person–environment compatibility, is specified. Details are provided on how this approach to reducing environmental pollution/hazards and sustaining these changes may be influenced by sociopolitical values, technological advances, and motivation for control over hazards. Personal variables thought to mediate the impact of environmental stress on health, including intrinsic sensitivity to specific hazards, personality, restricted capacities, other stress, culture, personal preferences, stage of life, gender, and perceived social support, are highlighted. Research results on the stress and health effects of hospital noise on patients and nurses are summarized to provide support for the model. Future directions for research are recommended. Implications of the model for nursing, including an environmental activist role in an interdisciplinary effort to plan and implement noise abatement interventions, are described.

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