Current Content
Volume 45 - Number 5
September/October 2019

The Effect of a Quiet Environment on the Comfort of Post-Operative Infants and Young Children
Peggy MacKay, Tara Ruhlen, Patricia Crow, Jeanna Hughes, Kelcey Pfeiffer, and Kristy Hagler

Multiple studies have documented the effect of noise in the hospital environment on the healing and well-being of patients. None, however, specifically addresses how quiet might enhance comfort among individuals in pain. A quantitative study was conducted to examine the impact of a quiet environment on the comfort of post-operative patients ages birth to 6 years in four medical/surgical inpatient care areas of an urban children’s hospital. No significant difference in comfort levels was noted between the experimental and control groups. However, two themes merit further study. Parents were reluctant to participate in the study despite the potential to enhance the child’s comfort. All noise levels measured were above recommendations regardless of study group assignment. The escalation of noise in the hospital setting is evident and it is in the best interests of patients for nurses to find ways to lessen this element of stress. In addition, it may be necessary to revisit established noise guidelines for hospital settings.