A Pilot Study to Prevent Hearing Loss in Farmers


  • Donna M. Gates,

    1. Ed.D., M.S.P.H., M.S.N., F.A.A.N., is Professor and Jane E. Procter Endowed Chair, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • M. Susan Jones

    1. Ph.D., R.N., is Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky
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Donna M. Gates, College of Nursing, 212 Procter Hall, Academic Health Center, University of Cincinnati, 3110 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038.
E-mail: Donna.gates@uc.edu


ABSTRACT Objective: Determine the feasibility and outcome of a pilot program to increase farm workers' use of hearing protection when performing activities with high noise exposure.

Design: The study was a quasi-experimental study.

Sample: Eight intervention farmers and 17 comparison farmers participated in the study.

Measures: Before and after the intervention, farmers completed a survey to identify their frequency of use of hearing protection, and their beliefs about hearing loss and use of hearing protection.

Intervention: The intervention consisted of noise assessments, educational sessions, mailed reminders with brochures, and placement of hearing protection on the farm.

Results: The intervention was effective in increasing the use of hearing protection 1 and 2 months after the implementation of the program.

Conclusions: Hearing loss is a serious problem with farmers, and yet many farmers neglect to protect their hearing with the use of protection. The pilot study findings indicate that efforts to increase the use of hearing protection by farmers can be effective.