ARCHIVE: Noise and nuisance - research reports
Low frequency noise research papers
Development of a course in computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aimed at relieving the problems of those suffering from noise exposure, in particular, exposure to low frequency noise (Interim Report)
This interim report describes progress to date in development and trialling of a course of cognitive behaviour therapy for those suffering from noise exposure, with a particular focus on low frequency noise. This work is being carried out on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Devolved Administrations by Geoff Leventhall, Consultant in Noise, Vibration and Acoustics, and builds on the findings of a previous research project, NANR 125. The interim report covers the development of the cognitive behaviour therapy materials and a review of the first stage of a trial of the materials using volunteer subjects. The trial continues, and is due to conclude during 2010.
- Development of a course in computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aimed at relieving the problems of those suffering from noise exposure, in particular, exposure to low frequency noise (Interim Report)
Coping Strategies for Low Frequency Noise
A small group of people, whose complaints of low frequency noise had not been resolved, were invited to attend a series of relaxation sessions led by a psychotherapist. The aims of the sessions were to improve the participants' coping strategies and their quality of life, in order to relieve them from some of the distress caused by the noise.
Prior to the session the group was evaluated by a number of tests including:
- A Low Frequency Noise Reaction Questionnaire
- A "quality of coping" questionnaire
- A "quality of life" questionnaire.
- A Personality Questionnaire (Insights Discovery Evaluator)
Additionally, the galvanic skin resistance and heart rate were measured under different noise exposure conditions.
Questionnaires and tests were repeated at the end of the series of sessions in order to reveal any changes that might have occurred.
A general reduction in the subjects' stress levels was shown, demonstrating the positive effects of relaxation therapy in some cases of annoyance from unsolvable noise problems.
This could lead to improved health and effectiveness and fewer demands on local services.
Although some insights were gained from the techniques of tinnitus management, analogy between the problems of low frequency noise sufferers and those of tinnitus sufferers fails at the point where low frequency noise sufferers believe that an external agency is the cause of their problems. This report also gives summaries of the:
- Perception of low frequency noise
- Psychological effects of low frequency noise
- Relaxation and psychotherapeutic techniques used.
- Coping Strategies for Low Frequency Noise (PDF 930 KB)
Methodology for the assessment of low frequency noise
The University of Salford was commissioned by Defra to develop a proposed criteria and methodology for the assessment of low frequency noise complaints. Three reports were produced in total.
Proposed criteria for assessment of low frequency noise disturbance
This report compares assessment methods from various countries and presents findings on laboratory tests of various methods. The report also presents findings from case studies involving low frequency noise sufferers in their homes. The report concludes with a proposed criteria and procedure for assessing low frequency noise.
- Proposed criteria for assessment of low frequency noise disturbance (PDF) (2.8 MB - NB very large filesize)
Procedure for the assessment of low frequency noise complaints
This report takes the proposed criteria from the University of Salford's initial report and develops it into a methodology through which local authorities can assess low frequency noise complaints.
Field trials of proposed procedure for the assessment of low frequency noise complaints
This report on the field trials presents findings on the use of the methodology by local authorities. Salford University contacted sixty-two local authorities to take part in the trialling of the methodology, of which five local authorities took part using 'live' cases involving complaints of low frequency noise. One of these local authorities investigated two cases.
- Field trials of proposed procedure for the assessment of low frequency noise complaints (PDF) (340 KB)
A review of published research on low frequency noise and its effects
This report was produced for Defra by Dr Geoff Leventhall; assisted by Dr Peter Pelmear and Dr Stephen Benton.
Low frequency noise causes extreme distress to a number of people who are sensitive to its effects. However, there is relatively little information readily available regarding the effects, assessment and management of low frequency noise. This report reviews the available literature in order to better improve our understanding. It should be of interest to low-frequency noise-sufferers, health professionals, environmental action groups, local authorities and acousticians.
- A review of published research on low frequency noise and its effects (PDF) (880 KB - NB large filesize)
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Alternatively copies can be requested by writing to Defra, Noise and Nuisance Policy, Air and Environmental Quality Division, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 4/H17 Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DE.
Page last modified: 26 October 2009
Page published 8 May 2003