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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 65  |  Page : 261--268

Personal listening devices and the prevention of noise induced hearing loss in children: The cheers for ears pilot program


1 Ear Sciences Centre, School of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands; Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco; RIDBC Renwick Centre, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children/University of Newcastle, Newcastle; and Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
2 Ear Sciences Centre, School of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands; Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Australia
3 Ear Sciences Centre, School of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands; Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Australia; and Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Dunay Schmulian Taljaard
Senior Research Fellow Ear Science Institute Australia/Ear Sciences Center University of Western Australia Suite 1, Level 2, 1 Salvado Road, Subiaco WA 6008, Australia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.113523

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To determine whether the Cheers for Ears Program on noise induced hearing loss prevention was effective in improving current knowledge of noise impact of personal listening devices on hearing, and in changing self-reported listening behavior of primary school students aged between 9 years and 13 years. A survey study was implemented at participating primary schools. Schools represented various levels of socio-economic status. Informed consent (parents and teachers) and informed assent (pupils) were obtained. All pupils participated in two interactive sessions (the second 6 weeks after first) and only those who provided assent and consent were surveyed at three points during the study: Prior to the first session (baseline), directly post-session and at 3 months post-session. A total of 318 pupils were surveyed. The median age of the participants was 11 years (nearly 50% of the total cohort). Significant changes are reported in their knowledge about hearing and in listening behavior of the participants as measured by pre- and post-measurement. The changes in behaviors were stable and sustained at 3 months post-intervention survey point and the success of the program can be attributed to the multimodal interactive nature of the sessions, the spacing of the sessions and the survey points. Wide-ranging support from schools and departments also played a role. The pilot Cheers for Ears Program is effective in increasing knowledge on the harmful effects of noise and therefore, it may prevent future noise-induced hearing loss.






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