Original Research

Awareness, attitudes and perceptions of students towards leisure noise in Durban, South Africa

Husna Mahomed, Seema Panday
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 71, No 1 | a1040 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v71i1.1040 | © 2024 Husna Mahomed, Seema Panday | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 February 2024 | Published: 28 June 2024

About the author(s)

Husna Mahomed, Discipline of Audiology, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Seema Panday, Discipline of Audiology, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Young adults are exposed to high noise levels in leisure venues, which increases their risk of hearing loss, and can affect their quality of life.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the young adults’ awareness, attitudes and perceptions towards leisure noise at a university in South Africa.

Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study design with quantitative methods of data was considered for this study. Students from first to fourth years in the Education Department of a local university in Durban, South Africa, who were aged 18 years old – 25 years old were invited to participate in an online survey.

Results: Of the 462 participants, most had a general awareness on noise and hearing loss but lacked knowledge on the negative effect of loud noise, with 95.2% using personal listening devices, followed by visiting restaurants and gyms, and 48.3% being unsure if noise can damage hearing permanently. They were unaware of methods to reduce their exposure to noise. A significant relationship between awareness of noise and attitudes (p = 0.029) indicated that the higher the level of awareness regarding leisure noise, the better their attitude and behaviour, thus the lower the risk of hearing loss.

Conclusion: The results highlight the need for implementing the World Health Organization (WHO) noise regulations and providing education for this age group to prevent irreversible hearing loss through exposure to leisure noise.

Contribution: A national study is recommended to increase research evidence.


Keywords

leisure noise; awareness; attitudes; perceptions; hearing conservation programmes; hearing protection devices; personal listening devices; young adult.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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