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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2017| July-August  | Volume 19 | Issue 89  
    Online since August 14, 2017

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Measurement properties of the chinese weinstein noise sensitivity scale
Daniel Y.T Fong, Naomi Takemura, Pui-Hing Chau, Sarah L.Y Wan, Janet Y.H Wong
July-August 2017, 19(89):193-199
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_110_16  PMID:28816206
Context: Noise sensitivity may mediate or moderate the influences of noise exposure on health, and it needs to be reliably evaluated. The 21-item Weinstein’s noise sensitivity scale (WNSS) has been the most popular scale for assessing noise sensitivity, but it is not yet available in traditional Chinese. Aims: This study aimed to conduct linguistic and psychometric performance of WNSS in Hong Kong (HK) Chinese. Settings and Design: A population-based telephone survey with 1-week follow-up. Materials and Methods: The HK Chinese WNSS was obtained after forward–backward translation from the original English version and cognitive debriefing in five Chinese adults. Its measurement properties were assessed in 569 Chinese adults aged 18 years or above. Statistical Analysis Used: The sample was randomly split into two halves. The first half was used to explore a scale structure of the WNSS by exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with the number of factors determined by the optimal comparison data technique and tested for being artifactual. The second half was used for confirmatory factor analysis. Convergent validity and test–retest validity were also assessed. Results: EFA identified two unipolar factors and removed three items poorly associated with the factors. The factors were likely artifactual and a unidimensional structure was assessed in CFA, which showed a satisfactory fit (root mean square error of approximation = 0.055; comparative fit index = 0.904; standardized root mean square residual = 0.061). The HK Chinese WNSS had good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.83) and test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.87). Furthermore, it confirmed the expected association with extraversion (r = −0.14, P < 0.001) and neuroticism (r = 0.28, P < 0.001). Conclusion: The 18-item HK Chinese WNSS was reliable and valid for assessing noise sensitivity in the Chinese population.
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Evaluation of the effects of various sound pressure levels on the level of serum aldosterone concentration in rats
Parvin Nassiri, Sajad Zare, Mohammad R Monazzam, Akram Pourbakht, Kamal Azam, Taghi Golmohammadi
July-August 2017, 19(89):200-206
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_64_16  PMID:28816207
Introduction: Noise exposure may have anatomical, nonauditory, and auditory influences. Considering nonauditory impacts, noise exposure can cause alterations in the automatic nervous system, including increased pulse rates, heightened blood pressure, and abnormal secretion of hormones. The present study aimed at examining the effect of various sound pressure levels (SPLs) on the serum aldosterone level among rats. Materials and Methods: A total of 45 adult male rats with an age range of 3 to 4 months and a weight of 200 ± 50 g were randomly divided into 15 groups of three. Three groups were considered as the control groups and the rest (i.e., 12 groups) as the case groups. Rats of the case groups were exposed to SPLs of 85, 95, and 105 dBA. White noise was used as the noise to which the rats were exposed. To measure the level of rats’ serum aldosterone, 3 mL of each rat’s sample blood was directly taken from the heart of anesthetized animals by using syringes. The taken blood samples were put in labeled test tubes that contained anticoagulant Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. In the laboratory, the level of aldosterone was assessed through Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocol. The collected data were analyzed by the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18. Results: The results revealed that there was no significant change in the level of rats’ serum aldosterone as a result of exposure to SPLs of 65, 85, and 95 dBA. However, the level of serum aldosterone experienced a remarkable increase after exposure to the SPL of 105 dBA (P < 0.001). Thus, the SPL had a significant impact on the serum aldosterone level (P < 0.001). In contrast, the exposure time and the level of potassium in the used water did not have any measurable influence on the level of serum aldosterone (P = 0.25 and 0.39). Conclusion: The findings of this study demonstrated that serum aldosterone can be used as a biomarker in the face of sound exposure.
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On-site and laboratory evaluations of soundscape quality in recreational urban spaces
Lærke C Bjerre, Thea M Larsen, A Josefine Sørensen, Sébastien Santurette, Cheol-Ho Jeong
July-August 2017, 19(89):183-192
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_109_16  PMID:28816205
Context: Regulations for quiet urban areas are typically based on sound level limits alone. However, the nonacoustic context may be crucial for subjective soundscape quality. Aims: This study aimed at comparing the role of sound level and nonacoustic context for subjective urban soundscape assessment in the presence of the full on-site context, the visual context only, and without context. Materials and Methods: Soundscape quality was evaluated for three recreational urban spaces by using four subjective attributes: loudness, acceptance, stressfulness, and comfort. The sound level was measured at each site and simultaneous sound recordings were obtained. Participants answered questionnaires either on site or during laboratory listening tests, in which the sound recordings were presented with or without each site’s visual context consisting of two pictures. They rated the four subjective attributes along with their preference toward eight sound sources. Results: The sound level was found to be a good predictor of all subjective parameters in the laboratory, but not on site. Although all attributes were significantly correlated in the laboratory setting, they did not necessarily covary on site. Moreover, the availability of the visual context in the listening experiment had no significant effect on the ratings. The participants were overall more positive toward natural sound sources on site. Conclusion: The full immersion in the on-site nonacoustic context may be important when evaluating overall soundscape quality in urban recreational areas. Laboratory evaluations may not fully reflect how subjective loudness, acceptance, stressfulness, and comfort are affected by sound level.
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Using mindfulness to reduce the health effects of community reaction to aircraft noise
Andrew J Hede
July-August 2017, 19(89):165-173
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_106_16  PMID:28816203
Aim: This paper investigates whether mindfulness-based interventions might ameliorate the detrimental health effects of aircraft noise on residential communities. Review: Numerous empirical studies over the past 50 years have demonstrated the increasing negative impact of aircraft noise on residents worldwide. However, extensive database searches have revealed no published studies on psychological interventions that reduce residents’ reactivity to environmental noise. By contrast, there has been extensive research over several decades confirming the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction training in lowering people’s stress from work and life. Considering that stress is a major component of aircraft noise reaction, it would seem worth assessing whether mindfulness-based interventions might be effective in reducing the health effects of aircraft noise. It appears that no existing conceptualization of mindfulness specifically accounts for noise as a stressor. Conceptual Analysis: A new conceptual model is presented here which explains how mindfulness can reduce noise reactivity. Two types of mindfulness are distinguished: an active form (meta-mindfulness) and a passive form (supra-mindfulness). It is posited that meta-mindfulness can facilitate “cognitive defusion” which research has confirmed as enabling people to disconnect from their own dysfunctional thoughts. In the case of aircraft noise, negative thinking associated with residents’ reactive experiences can exacerbate the health effects they suffer. The present model further proposes that supra-mindfulness can enable an individual to disengage their own sense of identity from the often overwhelming negative thoughts which can define their existence when they are consumed by extreme noise annoyance. Conclusion: The mindfulness processes of defusion and disidentification are postulated to be the key efficacy mechanisms potentially responsible for reducing reactivity to aircraft noise. This approach can be evaluated by extending previous research on the health benefits of mindfulness training.
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Deep band modulated phrase perception in quiet and noise in individuals with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder and sensorineural hearing loss
Hemanth Narayan Shetty, Vishal Kooknoor
July-August 2017, 19(89):174-182
DOI:10.4103/nah.NAH_10_16  PMID:28816204
Context: Deep band modulation (DBM) improves speech perception in individuals with learning disability and older adults, who had temporal impairment in them. However, it is unclear on perception of DBM phrases at quiet and noise conditions in individuals with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), as these individuals suffer from temporal impairment. Aim: The aim is to study the effect of DBM and noise on phrase perception in individuals with normal hearing, SNHL, and ANSD. Settings and Design: A factorial design was used to study deep-band-modulated phrase perception in quiet and at noise. Materials and Methods: Twenty participants in each group (normal, SNHL, and ANSD) were included to assess phrase perception on four lists of each unprocessed (UP) and DBM phrases at different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) (−1, −3, and −5 dB SNR), which were presented at most comfortable level. In addition, a temporal processing was determined by gap detection threshold test. Statistical Analysis: A mixed analysis of variance was used to investigate main and interaction effects of conditions, noise, and groups. Further, a Pearson product moment correlation was used to document relationship between phrase perception and temporal processing among study participants in each experimental condition. Results: In each group, a significant improvement was observed in DBM phrase perception over UP phrase recognition in quiet and noise conditions. Although a significant improvement was observed, the benefit of recognition from DBM over UP is negligible at −5 dB SNR in both SNHL and ANSD groups. In addition, as expected, a significant improvement in phrase perception in each condition was found in normal hearing than SNHL followed by ANSD. Further, in both atypical groups, a strong negative correlation was found between phrase perception and gap detection threshold in each of the experimental condition. Conclusion: This is to conclude that temporal envelope cues from DBM were made available for phrase perception in those individuals who have temporal impairment.
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