Metas de Enfermería

Metas de Enfermería

DICIEMBRE 2006 N° 10 Volumen 9

How do patients perceive noise in Spanish hospitals?

Section: Cover story

How to quote

Marqués Sánchez P, Calvo Sánchez D, Mompart García MP, Núñez Gelado Y, Calle Pardo AP. ¿Cómo perciben el ruido los pacientes en los hospitales españoles?. Metas de Enferm dic 2006/ene 2007; 9(10): 25-31


1Pilar Marqués Sánchez, 2Mª Dolores Calvo Sánchez, 3Mª Paz Mompart García, 4Yolanda Núñez Gelado, 5Angela Pilar Calle Pardo


1Profesora Titular de Administración de Servicios de Enfermería. Escuela Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud. Campus de Ponferrada. Universidad de León.2Diplomada en Enfermería. Profesora titular de la Escuela Universitaria de Enfermería y Fisioterapia de la Universidad de Salamanca.3Enfermera. Licenciada en Humanidades. Profesora del Máster de Gestión de Servicios de Enfermería. Vicepresidenta de ALADEFE.4Directora de Enfermería del Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Madrid.5Profesora titular del Departamento de Enfermería y Fisioterapia de la Universidad de León.

Contact address

C/ Camino de Santiago, 40, 3º A. 24400 Ponferrada, León.

Contact email: defpms@unileon.es


Objective: to ascertain how patients perceive noise and its influence on their hospital stay. This work is part of a research line on the environmental conditions of hospitals.
Material and methods: cross-sectional descriptive study through a questionnaire with item referring to the noise source, time schedule and characteristics of noise. The population included 193 patients pertaining to 4 different category hospitals and provinces. The selected services, attending to their different work volume, were: Intensive Care Unit, Department of Surgery and Department of Paediatrics.
Results: the noise source that most bothered the patients was the actual people when they talked loud with a 64,8%, the time area where the highest level of sound was noted was between 9 and 21 hours, with 77% of the noise, nonetheless, it was more bothersome during the night, with a 31% or even in the late afternoon, being aggravated when the patients were in pain (28,5%). The characteristics of the worst noise were high volume and those that repeated the same sounds over and over again (35,2%).
Conclusions: the greatest perception of noise originates in easily accessible sources. These sources are however, not that expensive to fix by implementing corrective measures such as telling people to speak more softly and to turn down alarms. The proposal presented by the research team is education in habits, norms and behaviours aimed at facilitating a more harmonious acoustic surrounding and the study of architectonic proposals to replace noisy signals by light signals, to the extent such change might be possible.


noise; sound perception; sound pollution; acoustic contamination; environmental quality; healthcare qualityhospitalisation

Versión en Español


¿Cómo perciben el ruido los pacientes en los hospitales españoles?