Identifying targets for interventions to increase uptake and use of hearing protection in noisy recreational settings

Michael Loughran, Chris Plack, Christopher J. Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interventions to increase hearing protection behaviours within noisy recreational settings are limited by the lack of an underpinning evidence base. The aim of the present study was to identify targets for interventions in a population exposed to recreational noise, including those who had used hearing protection (ever-performers) versus those who had not (never-performers). A cross-sectional survey was administered to 185 UK adults who had been involved in noisy recreational activities. Participants had an average age of 36.79 years, a majority were women (68.1%), from a white ethic background (87.6%), and with non-manual occupations (75.7%). Using chi-square, MANOVA and ANOVA we looked for differences in sociodemographic variables and variables from the capabilities, opportunities and motivations model of behaviour change (COM-B) between ever- and never-performers. Ever-performers were more likely to be younger (p<.050), men (p<.050), and in a manual occupation (p<.050) compared to never-performers. Although the two groups felt capable and reported similar opportunities to use hearing protection, never-performers lacked automatic motivation (p<.001) and reflective motivation (p<.001) compared to ever-performers. For the first time, the present study identifies potential groups at whom hearing protection interventions might be targeted and what those interventions may contain. Further work is required to develop interventions targeted at older people, women and those in non-manual occupations. Lack of motivation is a key concern and further work that uses specific theoretical frameworks such as the PRIME (Plans, Responses, Impulses, Motives, and Evaluations) theory of motivation, may shed light on the kinds of interventions that are needed to boost hearing protection use effectively.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Hearing prevention
  • hearing protection interventions
  • hearing conservation
  • hearing protection behaviour
  • behaviour change
  • recreational noise
  • recreational noise-induced hearing loss
  • COM-B


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