The use of protective devices to safeguard health in noisy environments is crucial. Intensive exposure to pop, rock, and jazz (PRJ) music leads to irreversible damage to the auditory system. This study analyzed the psychological variables that best predict the use of personal hearing protection devices (PHPD) in professional PRJ musicians and the relative importance of PHPD in general as well as in four different occupational contexts, after controlling for auditory measures and condition. Professional musicians’ attitudes toward PHPD and behavior were assessed. Analyses showed that the best predictor of current usage was the duration of previous use, followed by additional psychological factors that predict usage in the four occupational settings. Researchers can draw on the current findings to explore other psychological factors and mechanisms that may facilitate the use of PHPD. For example, the finding that custom-made PHPD predicts the use of PHPD could be explored further by identifying the underlying psychological mechanisms, such as perception of ownership or identification processes. Studies should examine the other barriers/inducements to the use of PHPD in addition to those examined here, including the social factors connected to particular musical ensembles. Overall, psychological approaches encouraging behavioral change should be implemented, such as reminding individuals about previous use of PHPD, drawing their attention to these devices and the occupational environment, and enforcing PHPD norms to augment occupational health and safety.

The questionnaire used in the experiment is available online at https://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/ajp/media/redicts_the_use_of_hearing_protection/index.html

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