Effects of a low intensity intervention to increase hearing protector use among noise-exposed workers

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BackgroundFarm operators experience exposure to high noise and high prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss, but use of hearing protection in this worker group is low. The purpose of this study was to test a brief intervention to increase farm operators' use of hearing protection.MethodsIn this one-group pre- and post-test study, a random sample of 32 members of a farmers' organization was supplied a variety of hearing protectors. Participants received an assortment of hearing protectors by mail with manufacturer's instructions for use.ResultsMean pre-intervention hearing protector use when in high noise in this group was 23% (SD 29). Of the 32 participants, 27 (84%) were exposed to hazardous noise during the study period. Post-intervention mean use of HPDs was 64%, an increase of 41% (t = 5.26, P < 000).ConclusionResults of this study suggest that overall, hearing protectors were acceptable to farm operators, and that a brief mailed intervention is feasible. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:210-215, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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