Earplugs Improve Patients Subjective Experience of Sleep in Critical Care

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Earplugs improve patients’ subjective experience of sleep in critical care Laboure College
Nursing 202
March 8, 2013

The purpose of this study is to see if earplugs improve sleep in patients in critical care areas. It is to see if the use of earplugs will improve patient outcomes by decreasing noise levels during sleeping hours. The problem statement is that patients will get better quicker if they get uninterrupted sleep. The literature review summarizes the topic and its findings. According to the article, noise can have a negative affect on patients outcomes like; sleep disturbances (Honkus, 2003; Redeker, 2003), increase in the stress response (Kam et al., 1994; Moore et al., 1998; Lower et al., 2002), and reduced patient satisfaction (Lower & Bonsack, 2002). Different interventions were tried to decrease noise levels, but unfortunately, patients’ needs came first therefore abandoning those interventions like quiet time. Quiet time protocols were implemented by restricting care activities and visiting at sleep hours (Moore et al., 1998; Olson et al., 2001; Kellman, 2002; Lower & Bonsack, 2003). Wallace et al. (1998) studied the effect of earplugs worn during normal sleeping hours by 12 intensive care patients receiving mechanical ventilation and reported an increase in REM sleep during earplug use.

This study was qualitative because it had the test subjects use subjective data about the use of earplugs and the decrease in noise level by using The Verran-Snyder-Halpern Sleep Scale. The fit between the research question and methods are inconclusive because it is based on subjective data and not all the test subjects finished the study.

The sample is the test subjects in the study. The participants included men and women over the age of 18 who were admitted to critical care units at a Midwestern US teaching hospital (Scotto, McClusky, Spillan, & Kimmel, 2009). The criteria consisted of subjects who were alert and oriented,...
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