ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

5aNS6. Measuring attitudes toward co-workers affected by hearing loss in noisy industry.

R. Hetu

L. Getty

L. Philibert

J. Beaudry

Groupe d'Acoustique, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada

Previous studies have shown that the attitudes of hearing workers toward their hearing-impaired colleagues strongly contribute to the handicap associated with occupational hearing loss (OHL). In order to characterize such attitudes, a questionnaire has been designed. In phase I, a preliminary version of 45 items was equally divided into measures of beliefs, attitudes and reported behaviors toward co-workers affected by OHL. Answers from 176 workers from a metal products plant allowed to identify discriminative items that belonged to an appropriate factorial structure. In phase II, answers from 125 miners to a second version of the questionnaire, comprising 32 items, permitted further refinements. The final version was tested with 283 workers from three metal products plants, with a response rate of 86%. Answers on the scale measuring beliefs showed that noise-exposed workers did not know many of the consequences of OHL. Attitudes toward hearing impaired co-workers were generally favorable, but this finding appeared to reflect a strong social desirability bias. Reported behaviors indicated that a majority of workers are not inclined to adopt conducts that favor communication with victims of OHL. These findings offer useful clues for developing an awareness raising program on the consequences of OHL. [Work supported by IRSST.]