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Reducing Risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Collegiate Music Ensembles Using Ambient Technology

Jason Powell, Kris Chesky
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 32 Number 3: Page 132 (September 2017)

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Abstract: Student musicians are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as they develop skills and perform during instructional activities. Studies using longitudinal dosimeter data show that pedagogical procedures and instructor behaviors are highly predictive of NIHL risk, thus implying the need for innovative approaches to increase instructor competency in managing instructional activities without interfering with artistic and academic freedom. Ambient information systems, an emerging trend in human-computer interaction that infuses psychological behavioral theories into technologies, can help construct informative risk-regulating systems. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of introducing an ambient information system into the ensemble setting. The system used two ambient displays and a counterbalanced within-subjects treatment study design with six jazz ensemble instructors to determine if the system could induce a behavior change that alters trends in measures resulting from dosimeter data. This study assessed efficacy using time series analysis to determine changes in eight statistical measures of behavior over a 9-wk period. Analysis showed that the system was effective, as all instructors showed changes in a combination of measures. This study is in an important step in developing non-interfering technology to reduce NIHL among academic musicians.

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