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Open AccessArticle

Home as a Place of Noise Control for the Elderly? A Cross-Sectional Study on Potential Mediating Effects and Associations between Road Traffic Noise Exposure, Access to a Quiet Side, Dwelling-Related Green and Noise Annoyance

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Department of Social Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research, University of Bremen, Grazer Straße 4, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2
Institute of Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
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Department of Community Health, Hochschule für Gesundheit (University of Applied Science), Gesundheitscampus 6–8, 44801 Bochum, Germany
4
Department of Transport Planning, Faculty of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, August-Schmidt-Str. 10, 44221 Dortmund, Germany
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Centre for Sustainability, Environment and Health, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, 3721 MA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
6
Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Essen University Hospital, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany
7
Centre for Health NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia), Section “Health Assessments and Forecasting”, Gesundheitscampus 10, 44801 Bochum, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051036
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise-Related Annoyance)
Urban residents’ need to be in control of their home environment can be constrained by perceived uncontrollability of exposure to road traffic noise. Noise annoyance may indicate a psychological stress reaction due to this uncontrollability perception, thereby undermining the restoration process. Environmental resources, such as having access to a quiet side at home and dwelling-related green, may reduce noise annoyance both directly by shielding acoustically and indirectly by enhancing residents’ perceived noise control. We assessed the potential mediating role of perceived noise control in independent and joint associations of road traffic noise exposure (>65 dB Lden) and of an absent dwelling-related environmental resource (three indicators concerning quiet sides and one indicator concerning dwelling-related green) with noise annoyance. In our cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study on elderly urban citizens (N = 1812), we observed a statistically significant indirect effect of noise exposure on noise annoyance through perceived noise control (39%, 95%CI 26–55%). Statistical mediation between indicators of absent environmental resources and noise annoyance was weaker. The potential indirect effect was confirmed for combinations of noise exposure with each of the four indicators of an absent environmental resource. Our findings may call for mitigating noise levels while fostering quietness and green at residents’ homes. View Full-Text
Keywords: noise annoyance; perceived noise control; road traffic noise exposure; quiet side; dwelling-related green; mediation analysis; Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study noise annoyance; perceived noise control; road traffic noise exposure; quiet side; dwelling-related green; mediation analysis; Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study
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Riedel, N.; Köckler, H.; Scheiner, J.; Van Kamp, I.; Erbel, R.; Loerbroks, A.; Claßen, T.; Bolte, G. Home as a Place of Noise Control for the Elderly? A Cross-Sectional Study on Potential Mediating Effects and Associations between Road Traffic Noise Exposure, Access to a Quiet Side, Dwelling-Related Green and Noise Annoyance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1036.

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