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Qualitative analysis of the handicap associated with occupational hearing loss

, : Qualitative analysis of the handicap associated with occupational hearing loss. British Journal of Audiology 22(4): 251-264

Hearing difficulties among noise-exposed workers were investigated by means of an interview. A group of 61 workers from a metal product plant had their hearing tested; 66% had abnormal hearing according to their age. Interviews on hearing problems and on their consequences were conducted at home with the spouses. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and then treated according to a procedure that combines phenomenological and content analysis. The results were classified into hearing disabilities, disadvantages and adjustments. Listening and communication problems result in extra efforts, anxiety and stress, changes in social activities, isolation in groups and a negative self-image. These problems also affect others, especially the spouse, who take an active part in the spontaneous adjustment to disabilities. A model of the structure of the handicap has been outlined illustrating how spontaneous adjustments can be in themselves sources of disadvantages. Implications for rehabilitation services are discussed in terms of the means to facilitate optimal adjustment to disabilities.


PMID: 3242715

DOI: 10.3109/03005368809076462

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