Perceptions About Hearing Protection and Noise-induced Hearing Loss of Attendees of Rock Concerts



This study examines perceptions of rock concert attendees about risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and use of hearing protection at a busy Toronto rock concert venue.


Two hundred and four questionnaires were completed and returned (75% response rate) by attendees at four rock concerts.


The respondents had an average age of 20.6 years and 55.4% were male. Thirty-four point three percent (34.3%) thought that it was somewhat likely and 39.8% thought it was very likely that noise levels at music concerts could damage their hearing, but 80.2% said that they never wore hearing protection at such events. Tinnitus and other hearing disturbances were experienced by 84.7% and 37.8% of attendees, respectively. Both experiencing hearing disturbances and concern about developing hearing loss were statistically significantly associated with concert attendees’ use of hearing protection. Previous use of hearing protection, a higher score on a scale of readiness for behavioural change (Prochaska scale) and lack of concern about the appearance of ear plugs were statistically significantly associated with a reported willingness to use hearing protection in the future if it were provided for free at the door.


Hearing protection is currently not worn by most attendees of rock concerts who are at risk of developing NIHL. Ear plugs and tactful NIHL education should be provided at the door, coupled with strategies to reduce music sound levels to safer listening levels.



Notre étude porte sur les perceptions des spectateurs de concerts rock d’une salle très fréquentée de Toronto quant au risque de perte d’audition due au bruit et à l’utilisation de protecteurs d’oreilles.


Les spectateurs de quatre concerts rock ont rempli et retourné 204 questionnaires (taux de réponse de 75%).


L’âge moyen des répondants était de 20,6 ans, et 55,4% étaient des hommes. De ces répondants, 34,3% considéraient qu’il était assez probable et 39,8%, qu’il était très probable que les niveaux de bruit pendant les concerts puissent causer une perte d’audition, mais 80,2% ont déclaré n’avoir jamais porté de protecteurs d’oreilles durant un concert rock. Quatre-vingt-quatre virgule sept p. cent (84,7%) des spectateurs ont dit avoir éprouvé des tintements, et 37,8%, d’autres sensations auditives anormales. Le fait d’éprouver des sensations auditives anormales et la crainte d’une perte d’audition présentaient une corrélation significative avec l’utilisation de protecteurs d’oreilles. L’utilisation antérieure de protecteurs d’oreilles, une note élevée sur l’échelle de préparation au changement de comportement de Prochaska et l’absence de préoccupation quant à l’apparence des bouchons d’oreilles présentaient une corrélation significative avec le consentement à utiliser des protecteurs d’oreilles à l’avenir s’ils étaient fournis gratuitement à la porte.


La plupart des spectateurs des concerts rock vulnérables à une perte d’audition due au bruit ne portent pas de protecteurs d’oreilles pour l’instant. Des bouchons d’oreilles devraient être distribués à la porte, et les spectateurs devraient être sensibilisés avec tact au risque de la perte d’audition due au bruit. Ces mesures devraient être associées à des stratégies pour réduire les niveaux sonores de la musique à des seuils sans danger.

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Correspondence to Dr. Ronald A. House MD, MSc, FRCPC.

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Bogoch, I.I., House, R.A. & Kudla, I. Perceptions About Hearing Protection and Noise-induced Hearing Loss of Attendees of Rock Concerts. Can J Public Health 96, 69–72 (2005).

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MeSH terms

  • hearing loss
  • noise
  • environmental
  • prevention