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The SILENCE programme is a series of linked research projects. Updates on progress will be posted here.

January 2020:Julie Darbyshire, lead researcher for the SILENCE project, successfully defended her DPhil thesis which was based on data collected for the SILENCE project. 

December 2019: Julie Darbyshire took part in a panel discussion at the Intensive Care Society 'State of the Art' (SOA19) national conference in Birmingham.

May 2019: Julie Darbyshire spoke to Jonathan Downham for his critical care focus podcast series about the problems patients can have with sleep in the intensive care unit and what we can do about it. Podcast 106 "Enough with the noise already!" is available online.

March 2019: Julie Darbyshire presented at the 39th International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

December 2018: Sleep measures and assessment measures results published in Journal of the Intensive Care Society 

November 2018: Julie Darbyshire presented at 27th Update in Critical Care for Physiotherapists, highlighting the problems of noise in the ICU for both patients and staff

October 2018: Sleep assessment results submitted for publication....

June 2018: The final project report has been submitted to the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit secretariat.

May 2018: Julie Darbyshire presented at the Edinburgh Critical Care Research Group What's New in ICU study day to highlight the importance of managing noise levels in the ICU.

April 2018: A final prototype system has been delivered. Full reporting of the whole project will follow this year.

March 2018: Several iterations of the live noise level display screen have been tested with ICU staff. We are now building a final version incorporating their views and comments.

February 2018: Prototype live noise level display screen active in the intensive care unit. The next steps will be to ask staff what they think about the design, and to use their suggestions to improve usability and functionality. For some background information to the design process, read our case study reported in Oxford Computer Consultants' latest newsletter.

January 2018: After data checking, the total number of patients recruited to the SILENCE study is 583. Of these, 487 completed at least part of the sleep questionnaire and have been entered into the analysis set.  

December 2017: Julie Darbyshire (CI) joined Hugh Montgomery and Danny Bryden in the Intensive Care Society State of the Art 'Lights, sound, action!' panel session on Tuesday 5th December to talk about the importance of the ICU environment, both for patient recovery and staff wellbeing.

November 2017: With the patient-focussed sleep assessment phase of SILENCE now complete we are moving on to the final phase to design a visual soundscape of the intensive care unit. This will provide live feedback to help staff monitor and manage noise levels proactively.

October 2017: The (non-verified) final recruitment figure for the SILENCE study is 566. Many thanks to all our sites who recruited for us. Outline results should be available in the new year, with full results to follow.

September 2017: Recruitment closed to the SILENCE study on 30th September. Non-verified final recruitment is 560 patients - numbers may change as we process the data. Interim results from the sub-set of patients recruited from the Oxford sites were presented at the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) conference LIVES2017 in Vienna at the end of the month. 

August 2017: As we enter the final month of recruitment, we have 420 patients recruited to the multi-site sub-study and a total of 469 including those recruited to the electronic monitoring study in Oxford. All sites are now live and actively recruiting patients and we're hoping for a record month of recruitment in September.

July 2017: Recruitment is going well with just over 400 patients recruited (>350 in the multi-site sub-study). The final sites to join us are in the Midlands and will recruit for the last two months before study close at the end of September.

June 2017: Over 250 patients have now been recruited to the SILENCE study (more than 200 in the questionnaire only sub-study). New sites across the Wessex region have opened this month, and we're hoping to be fully operational across all sites by the end of July. 

May 2017: 150 patients have now been recruited to the questionnaire only sub-study. We are also opening recruitment to some more new sites next month. 

April 2017: >100 patients have now been recruited to the questionnaire only sub-study, bringing the total number of patients recruited overall to 152. The study is still open to interested sites who can guarantee a fast set-up and commit to 2-3 patients each week until recruitment close on 30th September.

March 2017: Yeovil District Hospital and the Royal Berkshire in Reading opened to recruitment. Also: >100 patients have now been recruited to the SILENCE study overall (including those recruited to the electronic sleep monitoring phase in Oxford).

February 2017: Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust are now open to recruit patients to the SILENCE study.

January 2017: First non-Oxford site open! Patients admitted to intensive care units in Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (High Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville) are now eligible for the SILENCE study.

October 2016: Bespoke environmental noise monitoring equipment designed and built by Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton installed in the ICU.

September 2016: HRA approval received & sleep assessment study documentation submitted to local sites for review

July 2016: Ethics amendment submitted to extend sleep assessment study to multi-site project as a questionnaire only sub-study.

June 2016: Interim results from first phase of noise reduction strategy indicate lower sound levels in the ICU

April 2016: Online e-learning module made available to staff working on the adult intensive care unit. This includes information about common sources of noise, and their effect on patients, as well as an overview of noise levels in the intensive care unit.

February 2016: New alarm management guidelines released to help staff manage noise levels and patient safety on the unit.

January 2016: Experiential teaching sessions start to be delivered to staff in adult intensive care unit. These give staff the opportunity to understand what it can be like to be a patient in the unit.

December 2015: Plastic lidded bins delivered to the adult intensive care unit - just in time for Christmas!

October 2015: New research collaboration with the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton to help design and implement array microphones and multi-site sound data collection within the ICU.

July 2015: Joint patient/staff/research meeting to plan noise reduction strategies for the adult intensive care unit at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

February 2015: Grant funded project work begins!

August 2014: First patient recruited to intensive care sleep assessment study.

June 2014: Ethics approval (14/SC/0164) secured to monitor sleep in the intensive care patient population.

March 2014: University of Oxford Medical Research Fund awarded for early phase project work.

March 2014: Funding award (PB-PG-0613-31034) confirmed.

September 2013: Funding application submitted.