This study aims to explore whether patients located near the nurses’ station experience
poorer quality of sleep, and greater levels of sleep disturbance than other bed locations inintensive care units (ICU).
Studies have shown that noise levels in ICUs exceed World HealthOrganisation (WHO) guidelines (Freedman, Gazendam, Levan, Pack and Schwab, 2001,Christensen, 2007, Akansal and Kaymakci, 2008). It has also been shown that noise, inparticular conversation, causes sleep disturbance (Gabor, Cooper, Crombach, Lee, Kadikar,Bettger and Hanly, 2003). Subjective assessment of sleep is inaccurate as nurses are unableto judge whether the patient, who has their eyes closed for much of the time, is actuallyasleep or not (Richardson, Crow, Coghill and Turnock, 2005). The literature reviewhighlighted that no study exists that examines sleep patterns objectively at various bedlocations simultaneously.
A quantitative correlational study will be used. Noise level in the ICU will be
measured and patients’ sleep will be measured objectively using polysomnography (PSG).
The Richards Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ) (Appendix 1) will be used tosubjectively measure patient perception of sleep. The sample is stable ICU patients. Thesetting is an open-plan 12 bed general ICU with medical and surgical patients.