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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 78  |  Page : 253--262

The effects of a hearing education program on recreational noise exposure, attitudes and beliefs toward noise, hearing loss, and hearing protector devices in young adults

1 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
2 Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
3 Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Hannah Keppler
De Pintelaan 185, 2P1, 9000 Gent, Belgium

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.165028

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Excessive recreational noise exposure in young adults might result in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus. Inducing behavioral change in young adults is one of the aims of a hearing conservation program (HCP). The goal of the current study was to evaluate the effect of a hearing education program after 6 months in young adults in relation to knowledge regarding their individual hearing status. The results of a questionnaire regarding the weekly equivalent recreational noise exposure, attitudes and beliefs toward noise, and hearing loss and hearing protector devices (HPDs) were compared between both sessions. Seventy-eight young adults completed the questionnaire concerning recreational noise exposure, youth attitude to noise scale (YANS), and beliefs about hearing protection and hearing loss (BAHPHL). Their hearing status was evaluated based on admittance measures, audiometry, transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs), and distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). The main analysis consisted of a mixed model analysis of variance with dependent variables of either the noise exposure or the scores on (subscales of) YANS and BAHPHL. The independent variables were hearing status and session one versus session two. There was a significant decrease in recreational noise exposure and several (sub) scales of YANS and BAHPHL between both the sessions. This behavioral change resulted in a more frequent use of HPDs in 12% of the participants. However, the behavioral change was not completely related to the knowledge of young adults' individual hearing status. To prevent hearing damage in young people, investing in HCPs is necessary, apart from regulating sound levels and its compliance at various leisure-time activities. Also, the long-term effect of HCPs and their most cost-efficient repetition rates should be further investigated.


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