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Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association

Hearing protection for clubbers is music to their ears

Elizabeth Francis Beach, Warwick Williams and Megan Gilliver

Health Promotion Journal of Australia 21(3) 215 - 221
Published: 01 December 2010


Issue addressed: While it is difficult to promote the use of hearing protectors in noisy workplaces and leisure settings, some nightclub attendees choose to wear earplugs when exposed to loud music. This qualitative study investigated the perceptions of clubbers about the advantages and disadvantages of earplug use in nightclubs. Such first-hand information could potentially be used to educate non-wearers about the features of different earplug types, the experience of wearing earplugs and their relative merits. Methods: Structured telephone interviews were conducted with 20 regular clubbers who wear different types of earplugs at nightclubs. Participants were asked about their experience of wearing earplugs and, in particular, what they perceive to be the advantages and disadvantages of earplugs. Results: Participants? responses revealed that cheaper foam earplugs are considered less satisfactory than more expensive earplugs, which are relatively discreet and comfortable, facilitate communication with others, create minimal music distortion and, in some cases, improve music sound quality. In terms of effectiveness, all types of earplugs were considered beneficial in reducing the after-effects of loud music and providing hearing protection. Conclusions: The perceived advantages of earplugs, which are often not recognised by non-earplug wearers, should be communicated in order to encourage the use of earplugs among clubbers. Key words: hearing protection, earplugs, loud music, nightclubs, leisure noise.

© Australian Health Promotion Association 2010

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