The effect of a secondary task on identification accuracy of oxygen saturation ranges using an enhanced pulse oximetry sonification: A laboratory study

Estrella Paterson, Penelope Sanderson, Neil Paterson, David Liu, Robert Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Abstract

In the operating theatre, anesthesiologists monitor an anesthetized patient's oxygen saturation (SpO2) with a visual display but also with an auditory tone, or sonification. However, if the anesthesiologist must divide their attention across tasks, they may be less effective at recognising their patient's SpO2 level. Previous research indicates that a sonification enhanced with additional sound dimensions of tremolo and brightness more effectively supports participants' identification of SpO2 ranges than a conventional sonification does. This laboratory study explored the effect of a secondary task on participants' ability to identify SpO2 range when using a conventional sonification (LogLinear sonification) versus an enhanced sonification (Stepped Effects sonification). Nineteen non-clinician participants who used the Stepped Effects sonification were significantly more effective at identifying SpO2 range (Md = 100%) than were 18 participants using the LogLinear sonification (Md = 80%). Range identification performance of participants using the Stepped Effects sonification tended to be less disrupted by a concurrent arithmetic task (drop from Md = 100% to 95%) than it was for participants using the LogLinear sonification (drop from Md = 80% to 73%). However, the disruption effect in each case was small, and the difference in disruption across sonifications was not statistically significant. Future research will test the sonifications under more intense cognitive load and in the presence of ambient noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-632
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2016 - Washington, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2016Sep 23 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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