Health Communication: NIHL and Tinnitus Prevention

  • Martin, William (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and related tinnitus pose significant health risks to millions of Americans. Educational interventions, based upon health communication theory, have yet to be systematically applied to NIHL and tinnitus prevention. The purpose of this project is to design, implement and evaluate intervention strategies applying current health communication and behavior theory, to increase knowledge, change attitude and behavioral intention consistent with hearing loss prevention. The target population will be 4th grade school students in Oregon and SW Washington. Four single educational interventions (some established and some new innovations) will be compared to a non-intervention, control group. Also, health communication theory predicts that certain intervention strategies will be more effective than others. Health communication research demonstrates that paired-interventions, especially in the form of a "booster" separated in time from the initial program, will be more effective than a single-intervention approach. Once evaluation of the four interventions is complete, a second evaluation will be conducted using paired combinations of the most effective educational interventions. Subjects will receive pre- and post-intervention and follow-up questionnaires. Intervention 1: Classroom Presentation by Older-Peer Educators. High school students will present an NIHL and tinnitus prevention program. Intervention 2: Classroom Presentation by Health Professional Educators. School nurses will present an NIHL and tinnitus prevention program. Intervention 3: On-site Museum Experience. Students will visit a 12-component exhibition of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus prevention. The exhibit provides a novel and innovative method of communicating information to visitors, young and old. Intervention 4: Web-based Museum Experience. A web-based version of the above museum exhibit will be the vehicle to communicate information about noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus prevention to fourth-grade students. Non-Intervention: Control groups matched for age, gender, socioeconomic and geographic (rural/ urban) factors will receive pre- and post-evaluation questionnaires without receiving an educational intervention. Results from the comparison of these interventions will be used to enhance delivery methods and vehicles for public education to increase awareness, change attitudes and behavioral intentions about the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. The goal is to decrease the number of cases of preventable noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus, and to promote healthy hearing and good aural communication in the population.
Effective start/end date12/1/0311/30/07


  • National Institutes of Health: $292,878.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $174,171.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $303,218.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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