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Randomized trial of a hearing conservation intervention for rural students: long-term outcomes.

Authors
Marlenga-B; Linneman-JG; Pickett-W; Wood-DJ; Kirkhorn-SR; Broste-SK; Knobloch-MJ; Berg-RL
Source
Pediatrics 2011 Nov; 128(5):e1139-e1146
NIOSHTIC No.
20040250
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: We had the rare opportunity to conduct a cluster-randomized controlled trial to observe the long-term (16-year) effects of a well-designed hearing conservation intervention for rural high school students. This trial assessed whether the intervention resulted in (1) reduced prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) assessed clinically and/or (2) sustained use of hearing protection devices. METHODS: In 1992-1996, 34 rural Wisconsin schools were recruited and 17 were assigned randomly to receive a comprehensive, 3-year, hearing conservation intervention. In 2009-2010, extensive efforts were made to find and contact all students who completed the original trial. Participants in the 16-year follow-up study completed an exposure history questionnaire and a clinical audiometric examination. Rates of NIHL and use of hearing protection were compared. RESULTS: We recruited 392 participants from the original trial, 200 (53%) from the intervention group and 192 (51%) from the control group. Among participants with exposure to agricultural noise, the intervention group reported significantly greater use of hearing protection compared with the control group (25.9% vs 19.6%; P = .015). The intervention group also reported significantly greater use of hearing protection for shooting guns (56.2% vs 41.6%; P = .029), but the groups reported similar uses of protection in other contexts. There was no significant difference between groups with respect to objective measures of NIHL. CONCLUSION: This novel trial provides objective evidence that a comprehensive educational intervention by itself may be of limited effectiveness in preventing NIHL in a young rural population.
Keywords
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Audiological-testing; Audiometry; Education; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Hearing; Hearing-conservation; Hearing-level; Hearing-protection; Hearing-tests; Noise; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Noise-levels; Noise-sources; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-practices; Ear-protection; Ear-protectors; Age-groups; Author Keywords: agriculture; hearing conservation; noise-induced hearing loss; youths; randomized controlled trial
Contact
Barbara Marlenga, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449
CODEN
PEDIAU
Publication Date
20111101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
marlenga.barbara@mcrf.mfldclin.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009392
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0031-4005
Source Name
Pediatrics
State
WI; MN
Performing Organization
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
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