The effect of hearing conservation counseling using individualized OSHA and ACGIH noise exposure data on music majors' perception of sound exposure
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of hearing conservation counseling using individualized OSHA and ACGIH noise exposure data on music majors' perception of sound exposure in rehearsal environments. A secondary purpose was to assess music majors' awareness of hearing health issues. Seventy-one undergraduate music majors were asked to rate their exposure to various intensities of sounds experienced during university band rehearsals and surveyed as to their knowledge about common hearing ailments and conservation practices. During 2 regularly scheduled 90-minute concert band rehearsals, half of the participants wore dosimeters designed to collect sound intensity data, once per second, while the other subjects participated without dosimeters. Data from the dosimeter-wearing experimental group was summarized and presented at a counseling session. Additionally, a brief video designed to simulate hearing loss was shown. 1-week later, all participants again rated their perceived exposure during rehearsals. Results indicated that the music majors generally understood the conditions that cause hearing damage. However, participants were less likely to accurately identify everyday audio hazards found in concert ensembles and individual environments. Additionally, participants rarely took steps to prevent hearing loss, even though many experience symptoms related to the condition. Counseling sessions resulted in negligible changes in participants' responses.