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The Effects of a Tinnitus Awareness Survey on College Music Majors' Hearing Conservation Behaviors

Mark C. Zeigler and Jack A. Taylor
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 16 Number 4: Page 136 (December 2001)

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Abstract: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a tinnitus awareness survey on the hearing conservation behaviors of freshman music majors (as measured 30 weeks later with a follow-up survey). The surveys were distributed to students at a large school of music in a public university (n = 200) and a small music department in a private university (n = 48). More than half the students (58.9%) claimed to have tinnitus at some level. The most frequent response to what caused their tinnitus was "not sure," followed by "exposure to noise over an extended period of time." Most students (64.2% to 95%) did not wear hearing protection during rehearsals, concerts, or loud non-performance-related activities. In the follow-up survey, the majority (86.0%) said they did not change their use of hearing protection devices (including those students with tinnitus), but the students in the small college claimed to use significantly more protection than the students in the large college. Since the students in the small college received additional specific examples of tinnitus problems when completing the preliminary survey, it was concluded that more examples might be necessary to raise the awareness of factors leading to tinnitus. The result could be a positive change in the students' use of hearing protection.

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