Changing beliefs about leisure noise: using health promotion models to investigate young people's engagement with, and attitudes towards, hearing health

Int J Audiol. 2015 Apr;54(4):211-9. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2014.978905. Epub 2014 Dec 10.


Objective: To investigate factors influencing young people's motivation to reduce their leisure noise exposure, and protect their hearing health.

Design: Questionnaires were conducted online to investigate young people's hearing health attitudes and behaviour. Items were developed using an integrated health promotion approach. The stage of change model was used to group participants in relation to their engagement with noise reduction behaviour. The health belief model was used to compare each group's perceptions of susceptibility and severity of hearing loss, as well as the benefits and barriers to noise reduction.

Study sample: Results are presented for 1196 young Australians aged between 18 and 35 years.

Results: Participants' engagement with noise reduction behaviour was used to assign them to stage of change groupings: Maintenance (11%), Action (28%), Contemplation (14%), or Pre-contemplation (43%). Each group's responses to health belief model items highlighted key differences across the different stages of engagement.

Conclusions: Future hearing health promotion may benefit from tailoring intervention activities to best suit the stage of change of individuals. Different information may be useful at each stage to best support and motivate young people to look after their hearing health.

Keywords: Young adults; health belief model; health promotion; hearing health; leisure; noise-induced hearing loss; stage of change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / prevention & control
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / psychology
  • Hearing*
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities* / psychology
  • Male
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult