Noise with attitude: Influences on young people's decisions to protect their hearing

  • Gilliver M
  • Beach E
  • Williams W
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate young people's experiences and attitudes towards hearing health and their participation in noise reduction behaviours, to better understand how education and prevention messages may be better targeted. DESIGN: An online survey was used to investigate participants' own hearing health, their engagement with noise reduction behaviour, and their beliefs about hearing health and the risk posed by leisure activities. STUDY SAMPLE: Results are presented for 1000 Australian young adults (18-35 years). RESULTS: Most participants reported current good hearing health, although over a fifth showed possible early warning signs of damage. Approximately half of participants took steps to reduce their noise exposure. However, preventative action was not related to hearing loss symptomology, or perceived personal risk of noise-related damage. Participants' engagement with hearing health was related to beliefs about the risk posed by leisure noise, hearing health awareness, and the importance of hearing. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to further educate young people about the risks posed to hearing by leisure activity participation and factors that may assist improve hearing health. It is important that hearing health messages move past the traditional emphasis on knowledge, and move towards the use of more personalized motivators of noise reduction behaviour.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Health education
  • Hearing health
  • Leisure
  • Noise-induced hearing loss
  • Risk behaviour
  • Young adults

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