Hearing Health Practices and Beliefs among over 20 year-olds in the Omani Population

Rajiv Khandekar, Narang Ved P, Kantharaju KK, Pratibha Mane, Abdul RM Hassan, Raghunandan Niar, Shah Fahim A, Mazin Al-Khabori, Saleh Al-Harby

Abstract


Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate hearing health practices and beliefs among people over 20 years old in the Omani population. Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in Oman during 2007–2008. Arabic speaking health staff interviewed a total of 598 selected people from urban and rural Oman and also industrial workers using a closed ended questionnaire with 15 questions. Participants’ responses to the hearing practice related questions were graded into excellent (≥20 points), average (10 to 19) and poor (<10 points). The responses to the questions about hearing beliefs were grouped into excellent (≥25 points), good (5 to 24), average (-4 to 4), poor (-24 to -5) and very poor (<-25) grades. We calculated the frequencies, percentage proportions and 95% confidence intervals of the different grades of beliefs and hearing practice. The rates were also compared among different subgroups. We performed regression analysis to identify predictors of good hearing practice and scientific beliefs. Results: Among the 598 participants, an ‘excellent’ grade of hearing practice and belief was noted in 386 (64.5% [95% CI 60.7–68.4]) and average in 205 (34.3% [95% CI 29.5 – 37.1]). Being in the 20 to 39 years age group (OR =1.67) and an urban resident (OR= 0.53) were both predictors of an excellent grade of hearing practice, while male gender (OR = 1.71) and illiteracy (OR= 1.80) were predictors of scientific beliefs. Conclusion: We noted high levels of good hearing practice and low levels of modern scientific beliefs among Omani participants. The Ear Health Care program of Oman should focus on improving the knowledge about healthy hearing so that attitudes and hearing practices are improved and noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented or delayed. 



Keywords


Noise pollution; Beliefs; Practices; Hearing impairment

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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