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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 70  |  Page : 137--142

The link between noise perception and quality of life in South Australia

1 Department for Health and Ageing, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
2 Discipline of Public Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Monika Nitschke
Department for Health and Ageing, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide SA 5000
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Source of Support: South Australian Environment Protection Authority and the Department of planning, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and Department of Health and Ageing,, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.134913

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Environmental noise is a significant risk factor for a range of short- and long-term adverse health outcomes such as annoyance, cognitive development impairment, sleep disturbance, cardiovascular effects, and psychiatric problems. The aim of this study was to gather standardized quality of life (QOL) data hitherto rarely correlated with noise annoyance by source category. To provide an evidence-base for environmental noise policy development, a representative state-based survey was undertaken in South Australia (SA). A total of 3015 face-to-face interviews were conducted, using a questionnaire addressing noise sources, distances to busy roads and standardized measures of perceived annoyance and QOL. Population weighted descriptive survey and regression analysis. The most common sources of noise annoyances were road transport (27.7%, using a Likert scale, aggregating "little" to "extreme" annoyance), neighbors (22.0%), construction noise (10.0%), air conditioner noise (5.8%), rail transport noise (4.7%), and industry (3.9%). Using the QOL instrument, all eight health dimensions were significantly decreased for those reporting high noise annoyance ("very much" to "extreme") in relation to road transport and neighbors compared to those reporting low annoyance ("none" to "moderate") from these sources. Noise annoyance is common in the SA general population, and the evidence for a strong association with QOL reinforces the need for environmental noise management at a population basis.


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