Supplement  |   December 2007
Effectiveness of “Dangerous Decibels,” a School-Based Hearing Loss Prevention Program
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan E. Griest
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, and National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Robert L. Folmer
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, and National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • William Hal Martin
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Contact author: Susan E. Griest, Oregon Hearing Research Center, Mail Code NRC04, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239. E-mail: griests@ohsu.edu.
Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Supplement
Supplement   |   December 2007
Effectiveness of “Dangerous Decibels,” a School-Based Hearing Loss Prevention Program
American Journal of Audiology December 2007, Vol.16, S165-S181. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2007/021)
History: Accepted 27 Jul 2007 , Received 06 Dec 2006
American Journal of Audiology December 2007, Vol.16, S165-S181. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2007/021)
History: Accepted 27 Jul 2007 , Received 06 Dec 2006

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of the “Dangerous Decibels” educational program in increasing students' knowledge and positively changing their attitudes and intended behaviors related to hearing and hearing loss prevention.

Method: Baseline questionnaires were completed by 478 4th-grade students and 550 7th-grade students. Approximately half of the students in each grade received a 35-min interactive classroom presentation on hearing and hearing loss prevention. The remaining students served as comparison groups. Students who received the curriculum filled out questionnaires immediately after the presentation. All students filled out follow-up questionnaires 3 months after baseline.

Results: Fourth-grade students who participated in the Dangerous Decibels presentation exhibited significant improvements in knowledge and attitudes related to hearing and hearing loss prevention. These improvements were maintained 3 months after the presentation. Seventh-grade students also experienced long-term improvements in their knowledge base. However, attitudes and intended behaviors in 7th graders returned to baseline levels 3 months postpresentation.

Conclusion: The Dangerous Decibels hearing loss prevention program was effective at producing long-term improvements in the knowledge base of 4th- and 7th-grade students. Future studies should include components on peer pressure and should incorporate repeated, multimodality interventions to increase the likelihood of long-term improvement in adolescents.

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