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Publication Detail
The acoustic environment in typical hospital wards in China
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Deng Z, Xie H, Kang J
  • Publisher:
    Elsevier BV
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
  • Journal:
    Applied Acoustics
  • Volume:
  • Article number:
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Excessive noise has become a significant problem in hospitals around the world, as revealed by a number of studies. This study aimed to investigate the acoustic conditions in typical ICU wards and general wards in a Chinese hospital through a series of field measurements and a questionnaire survey. In terms of the sound field, the results showed that the reverberation times (500–1 kHz) of thirteen selected wards ranged from 0.34 to 0.67 s and that their 24-hour equivalent noise level ranged from 57.3 to 63.9 dBA. Most general wards contained higher noise levels than ICU wards during the daytime, whereas ICU wards became the noisiest at night. In terms of noise sources and their impact, ‘equipment alarms’ were recognized as the major noise source in ICU wards, whereas ‘talking from others’ was more significant in general wards. A total of 43.6% of the interviewed patients from general wards were interrupted once by noise while sleeping. To improve the acoustic conditions in general wards, the introduction of effective management to ‘reduce the talking level’ was recommended primarily by staff, whereas providing ‘more single wards’ was recommended by most patients. For the ICU ward, ‘acoustic treatments’ and ‘reduced alarm levels’ were considered more suitable strategies by staff.
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