The electrical properties of the skin, also known as electrodermal activity (EDA), are considered as an indirect measure of autonomous nervous system. Along with that, the effects of noise-induced stress in intensive care units, is well explored. This study explores the noise-induced acute electrodermal activity changes in adult critical care patients and to compare these changes with cardiovascular effects of the same stress (noise) stimulus. Skin conductance variability, noise level, selected hemodynamic and respiratory parameters were monitored during 4 hour routine daytime intensive care nursing and treatment in an adult Intensive Care Unit. Average ambient noise levels during the time window (4 min) before the stimulation were 54.33(2.65) dB for Group A and 55.65(3.31) dB, while the noise stimulation was on average for Group A 70.8 (1.98) dB, and for Group B: 71.31(3.31) dB. EDA changes to noise stimulus were more distinct than hemodynamic and respiratory parameters. Yet, a weak relation was found between all EDA parameters and the particular noise level changes. Noise-induce stress causes more distinct EDA changes when measured immediately post stimulus. In addition, sedation level seems to affect the intensity of these changes. However, further studies are needed in to order to reach a definite conclusion. Continue reading
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