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Prospective, randomized controlled assessment of the short- and long-term efficacy of a hearing conservation education program in Canadian elementary school children§

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  • Reprints will not be available from the authors.

  • This material has never been published and is not currently under evaluation in any other peer-reviewed publication.

  • §

    Financial support for the study was obtained from The Hearing Foundation of Canada.

  • The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

Abstract

Objective:

To assess the efficacy of a hearing conservation program in changing acoustic risk-taking and hearing conservation behaviors in elementary school children.

Study Design:

Prospective, randomized, mixed design controlled study.

Methods:

Participants were grade-six students from 16 Vancouver School Board schools. Differences between the intervention and control group responses on a behavioral questionnaire were measured at baseline, and then at 2 weeks and 6 months after administration of a hearing conservation program (Sound Sense™).

Results:

The intervention resulted in significant interactions for improved earplug use at dances (P = .019), rock concerts (P = .001), with percussion musical instruments (P = .002), and electric guitars (P = .028) at 2 weeks postintervention relative to baseline. Improvements in children's earplug use at dances (P = .041), rock concerts (P = .0024), and with power lawn mowers (P = .043) at 6 months postintervention relative to baseline were also observed. Behavior in the intervention group compared to control group improved in earplug use with any “other noises” at 2 weeks (P = .001), and 6 months (P = .022) relative to baseline. There was a tendency in the intervention group to reduce the duration of use of personal music devices at 2 weeks and 6 months after the hearing conservation program, which was nonsignificant.

Conclusion:

The Sound Sense™ hearing conservation program improved earplug use practices in elementary school children in the short and long term. The development, implementation and evaluation of a community-based health promotion project around hearing loss can serve as a tremendous opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and skills in health advocacy. Laryngoscope, 2011

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