Noise induced hearing loss in music therapists: a case study

MacMahon, Leah and Page, Alan ORCID logoORCID: (2015) Noise induced hearing loss in music therapists: a case study. Journal of Environmental Health Research, 15 (1) . pp. 57-71. ISSN 1476-0932 [Article] (Accepted/In press)

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There are many industries which are affected by high incidence of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), particularly heavy manufacturing, oil and gas and the music industry. There are other less recognised occupations particularly in the leisure industry. This study explores the noise exposure of a music therapist who works with people with multiple or learning disabilities as well as mental health problems and to evaluate exposure to legislative standards.

A dBadge Lite Micro Noise Dosimeter CEL-350 and a Harmonie portable four-channel system sound level meter enabling octave band analysis of music sessions were employed for the monitoring. All individual and group therapy sessions were monitored for ten days, in order to gain a representative data set.

The findings of the study support that music therapists are at risk of excessive occupational noise exposure. The participant of the study was exposed to sound levels that resulted in dose percentages exceeding standards recommended by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) (CNWR 2005), with the lower action value levels being reached for the LEPd, LEPw and Peak sound pressure values.

Recommendations have been made to the employers in order to reduce occupational exposure by carrying out a health and safety assessment for exposure to noise at the workplace, by controlling exposure, providing hearing protection and carrying out health surveillance if indicated by the risk assessment.

Due to the numerous variables it is impossible to state with certainty the occupational noise exposure of music therapists and any subsequent hearing disorders which may occur. However, evidence from the present study, scientific literature, and anecdotal evidence suggest that further study is warranted.

Key Words: Environmental health; Music therapy; Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL); Occupation, Occupational noise.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 18384
Depositing User: Alan Page
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 13:50
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 18:02

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