Perceptions about hearing protection and noise-induced hearing loss of attendees of rock concerts.

Bogoch II, House RA, Kudla I.
Can J Public Health. 2005 Jan-Feb;96(1):69-72.

BACKGROUND: This study examines perceptions of rock concert attendees about risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and use of hearing protection at a busy Toronto rock concert venue.

METHODS: Two hundred and four questionnaires were completed and returned (75% response rate) by attendees at four rock concerts.

RESULTS: The respondents had an average age of 20.6 years and 55.4% were male. Thirty-four point three percent (34.3%) thought that it was somewhat likely and 39.8% thought it was very likely that noise levels at music concerts could damage their hearing, but 80.2% said that they never wore hearing protection at such events. Tinnitus and other hearing disturbances were experienced by 84.7% and 37.8% of attendees, respectively. Both experiencing hearing disturbances and concern about developing hearing loss were statistically significantly associated with concert attendees’ use of hearing protection. Previous use of hearing protection, a higher score on a scale of readiness for behavioural change (Prochaska scale) and lack of concern about the appearance of ear plugs were statistically significantly associated with a reported willingness to use hearing protection in the future if it were provided for free at the door.

CONCLUSION: Hearing protection is currently not worn by most attendees of rock concerts who are at risk of developing NIHL. Ear plugs and tactful NIHL education should be provided at the door, coupled with strategies to reduce music sound levels to safer listening levels.

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