Introduction: Consistent use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) decreases noise-induced hearing loss, however, many workers do not use them consistently. Past research has supported the need to use a conceptual framework to understand behaviors and guide intervention programs; however, few reports have specified a process to translate a conceptual model into an intervention.
Purpose: The strongest predictors from the Health Promotion Model were used to design a training program to increase HPD use among construction workers.
Subjects/setting: Carpenters (n = 118), operating engineers (n = 109), and plumber/pipefitters (n = 129) in the Midwest were recruited to participate in the study.
Design: Written questionnaires including scales measuring the components of the Health Promotion Model were completed in classroom settings at worker trade group meetings.
Measures: All items from scales predicting HPD use were reviewed to determine the basis for the content of a program to promote the use of HPDs. Three selection criteria were developed: (1) correlation with use of hearing protection (at least .20), (2) amenability to change, and (3) room for improvement (mean score not at ceiling).
Results: Linear regression and Pearson's correlation were used to assess the components of the model as predictors of HPD use. Five predictors had statistically significant regression coefficients: perceived noise exposure, self-efficacy, value of use, barriers to use, and modeling of use of hearing protection. Using items meeting the selection criteria, a 20-minute videotape with written handouts was developed as the core of an intervention. A clearly defined practice session was also incorporated in the training intervention.
Conclusion: Determining salient factors for worker populations and specific protective equipment prior to designing an intervention is essential. These predictors provided the basis for a training program that addressed the specific needs of construction workers. Results of tests of the effectiveness of the program will be available in the near future.