Music Therapy to Reduce Staff Annoyance Related to Construction Specific Noise: A Quality Improvement Project

Friday, 17 March 2017: 3:45 PM

Kimberly K. Norton, MS
Department of Nursing, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA

Background: Of the 579 hospitals under construction in November of 2015, 163 are renovation projects occurring on campus while patients continue to be seen and treated (Hargrave, 2016). Currently the construction team is in the middle of remodeling the cardiac care unit (CCU) at a local hospital, resulting in the incorporation of construction processes and patterns to the critical care environment. The necessary tasks for construction work require the use of loud, and disturbing tools, which are disruptive to the entire unit and to all those who enter the CCU. The specific aim for this quality improvement project is to decrease the annoyance score of the CCU staff from construction specific noise by 10% before July 30, 2016.

Methods: This unit-based intervention was implemented in a previously 10-bed cardiac care unit that is the workplace environment for not only unit staff, but also for contractors, construction employees, and project managers. The intervention of Native American Celtic Flute music was played at the nurse’s station via a Bose speaker from 0800 to 1500 for four days in attempt to desensitize the members of the CCU to the construction noise. A pre and post-implementation survey designed with the Genlyd instrument, for all CCU staff was used as the assessment of measuring annoyance due to construction noise. The nonparametric test of the Wilcoxon sign rank test was used to determine the significance of the results.

Results: The survey results illustrated a 75% decrease in average annoyance score related to construction noise after the implementation of Native American Celtic Music. This results in a significant (p< 0.0001) improvement in self-reported annoyance. The accepted level of significance is p<0.05. The music also had an overwhelming effect on the workplace satisfaction for the staff members within the CCU, as well as a decrease in self-reported distraction from the noise.

Conclusion: This quality improvement project has lead to the intended results of Native American Celtic Flute music to decrease annoyance and desensitize construction specific noise for the staff in a critical care unit. In conclusion it is recommended that music be implemented into practice for hospital units to increase staff satisfaction, staff ability to focus and decrease annoyance factors related to construction specific noise.