Research Article  |   June 2011
Targeting Hearing Health Messages for Users of Personal Listening Devices
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jerry L. Punch
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Jill L. Elfenbein
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Richard R. James
    E-Coustic Solutions, Okemos, MI
  • Correspondence to Jerry L. Punch: jpunch@msu.edu
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Jeffrey DiGiovanni
    Associate Editor: Jeffrey DiGiovanni×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Psychogenic Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy
Research Article   |   June 2011
Targeting Hearing Health Messages for Users of Personal Listening Devices
American Journal of Audiology, June 2011, Vol. 20, 69-82. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0039)
History: Received October 5, 2010 , Accepted March 20, 2011
American Journal of Audiology, June 2011, Vol. 20, 69-82. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0039)
History: Received October 5, 2010; Accepted March 20, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose: To summarize the literature on patterns and risks of personal listening device (PLD) use, which is ubiquitous among teenagers and young adults. The review emphasizes risk awareness, health concerns of PLD users, inclination to take actions to prevent hearing loss from exposure to loud music, and specific instructional messages that are likely to motivate such preventive actions.

Method: We conducted a systematic, critical review of the English-language scholarly literature on the topic of PLDs and their potential effects on human hearing. We used popular database search engines to locate relevant professional journals, books, recent conference papers, and other reference sources.

Conclusions: Adolescents and young adults appear to have somewhat different perspectives on risks to hearing posed by PLD use. Messages designed to suggest actions they might take in avoiding or reducing these risks, therefore, need to be targeted to achieve optimal outcomes. We offer specific recommendations regarding the framing and content of educational messages that are most likely to be effective in reducing the potentially harmful effects of loud music on hearing in these populations, and we note future research needs.

Acknowledgments
We wish to acknowledge the members of an undergraduate honors seminar at Michigan State University who participated in a series of related research projects that inspired this article, including the following students: Alexandra Artymovich, Hazel Atienza, Sameer Bhagwan, Tori Frost, Minyoung Jeong, Alicia Kramer, Fan Lin, Allan Morris, Daniel Pabst, Neil Patel, and Amy Warren. Two student facilitators, Emilie Sweet and Nathan Williams, also made significant contributions. We gratefully acknowledge the Office of the Provost and the Honors College of Michigan State University for administrative and budgetary support. We also thank Brad Rakerd and Kami Silk for commenting on early drafts of the manuscript.
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