This study aimed to measure the sound levels in Irish x-ray departments. The study then established whether these levels
of noise have an impact on radiologists performance
Noise levels were recorded 10 times within each of 14 environments in 4 hospitals, 11 of which were locations where
radiologic images are judged. Thirty chest images were then presented to 26 senior radiologists, who were asked to
detect up to three nodular lesions within 30 posteroanterior chest x-ray images in the absence and presence of noise at
amplitude demonstrated in the clinical environment.
The results demonstrated that noise amplitudes rarely exceeded that encountered with normal conversation with the
maximum mean value for an image-viewing environment being 56.1 dB. This level of noise had no impact on the ability
of radiologists to identify chest lesions with figure of merits of 0.68, 0.69, and 0.68 with noise and 0.65, 0.68, and 0.67
without noise for chest radiologists, non-chest radiologists, and all radiologists, respectively. the difference in their
performance using the DBM MRMC method was significantly better with noise than in the absence of noise at the 90%
confidence interval (p=0.077). Further studies are required to establish whether other aspects of diagnosis are impaired
such as recall and attention and the effects of more unexpected noise on performance.