Effect of Using Earmuffs on Physiological Parameters and Stress Levels of Premature Infants: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 Aydin Maternity and Childrens' Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Turkey

2 Adnan Menderes University, Faculty of Nursing, Department of Child Health and Diseases, Turkey

3 Izmir Democracy University, Faculty Of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Turkey

4 Aydın Gynecology and Pediatrics Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Turkey


Background: Earmuffs can be worn to reduce the noise exposure of premature infants. The results regarding the use of earmuffs to provide physiological stability and reduce the stress level in preterm infants are not precise.The present study aims to examine the effect of providing noise control using ear muffs on premature infants’ physiological parameters and stress levels in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Methods: A prospective randomised trial was conducted including 100 premature infants for a one-year-period. After randomisation, the infants included in the study were evaluated for two consecutive days and checked twice a day for a total of four times. The infants in the study group wore earmuffs twice a day, in the supine and prone positions. The infants in the control group were followed up without earmuffs.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the post-procedural stress scores of the study and control groups (p<0.05). The stress scores of the infants in the study group were significantly lower than those in the control group. Two hours after wearing earmuffs on the first and second days, a statistically significant difference was found between the respiratory rates of the two groups, being significantly lower in the study group (p=0,030).
Conclusion: According to the results of our study, using earmuffs in premature infants decreased the stress score and respiratory rate; however, this intervention did not affect other physiological parameters.


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