Self-report and long-term field measures of MP3 player use: how accurate is self-report?

Int J Audiol. 2013 Feb:52 Suppl 1:S33-40. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2012.745649.


Objective: This study was designed to evaluate the usage patterns of portable listening device (PLD) listeners, and the relationships between self-report measures and long-term dosimetry measures of listening habits.

Design: This study used a descriptive correlational design.

Study sample: Participants (N = 52) were 18-29 year old men and women who completed surveys. A randomly assigned subset (N = 24) of participants had their listening monitored by dosimetry for one week.

Results: Median weekly noise doses reported and measured through dosimetry were low (9-93%), but 14.3% of participants reported exceeding a 100% noise dose weekly. When measured by dosimetry, 16.7% of participants exceeded a 100% noise dose weekly. The self-report question that best predicted the dosimetry-measured dose asked participants to report listening duration and usual listening level on a visual-analog scale.

Conclusions: This study reports a novel dosimetry system that can provide accurate measures of PLD use over time. When not feasible, though, the self-report question described could provide a useful research or clinical tool to estimate exposure from PLD use. Among the participants in this study, a small but substantial percentage of PLD users incurred exposure from PLD use alone that increases their risk of music-induced hearing loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Surveys / standards*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / psychology
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception
  • MP3-Player*
  • Male
  • Music
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Risk-Taking
  • Self Report / standards*
  • Young Adult