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Sounds in nursing homes and their effect on health in dementia: a systematic review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2020

Sarah I. M. Janus*
Affiliation:
Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Janouk Kosters
Affiliation:
Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Kirsten A. van den Bosch
Affiliation:
Department of Youth Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Tjeerd C. Andringa
Affiliation:
Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands University College Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Sytse U. Zuidema
Affiliation:
Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Hendrika J. Luijendijk
Affiliation:
Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
*Corresponding
Correspondence should be addressed to: Sarah Janus, Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine, University Medical Centre Groningen, Internal post FA21, Postbox 196, 9700 AD Groningen, the Netherlands. Email: s.i.m.janus@umcg.nl.

Abstract

Objectives:

Nursing home residents with dementia are sensitive to detrimental auditory environments. This paper presents the first literature review of empirical research investigating (1) the (perceived) intensity and sources of sounds in nursing homes, and (2) the influence of sounds on health of residents with dementia and staff.

Design:

A systematic review was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus. Study quality was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. We used a narrative approach to present the results.

Results:

We included 35 studies. Nine studies investigated sound intensity and reported high noise intensity with an average of 55–68 dB(A) (during daytime). In four studies about sound sources, human voices and electronic devices were the most dominant sources. Five cross-sectional studies focused on music interventions and reported positives effects on agitated behaviors. Four randomized controlled trials tested noise reduction as part of an intervention. In two studies, high-intensity sounds were associated with decreased nighttime sleep and increased agitation. The third study found an association between music and less agitation compared to other stimuli. The fourth study did not find an effect of noise on agitation. Two studies reported that a noisy environment had negative effects on staff.

Conclusions:

The need for appropriate auditory environments that are responsive to residents’ cognitive abilities and functioning is not yet recognized widely. Future research needs to place greater emphasis on intervention-based and longitudinal study design.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© International Psychogeriatric Association 2020

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