Transportation noise and health related quality of life: perception of soundscapes, coping and restoration

Invited paper

Peter Lercher

Division of Social Medicine, Medizinische Universitšt Innsbruck

Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 09:00 - 09:20

0.4 Brussels (189)

Epidemiological studies are usually focussed on more severe adverse health effects (e.g. CHD, hypertension, diabetes), apply large sample sizes and do not address the specific environmental and social context. Soundscape studies, on the other hand, are strongly focussed on the perceived quality of the sound environment and its context. With some exceptions, these studies mostly employ small samples and rarely relate the observed perceptions to health responses. The aim of our approach is to link the two approaches by focusing on indices of perceived and health related quality of life we have available from medium and larger scale studies whose primary focus was on environmental health impact assessment of large infrastructure projects. We found evidence for a significant exposure response effect with total and rail sound exposure for perceptual, emotional and coping responses on both indices of neighboorhood satisfaction and health status. Supporting earlier results we found active coping efforts to increase affecedness and dissatisfaction but mitigatig adverse health effects. We have further observed positive effects of restoration options as measured by the dimensions "being away", "fascination" and "compatibilty" on both neighbourhood satisfaction and health. The effects observed were not completely consistent beween the applied modeling approaches (multiple regression versus structural equation modeling). Eventually, additional sound sources (like main roads) showed effect modification at overall lower exposure levels (<55 Ldn) on neighbourhood satisfaction.

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