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Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Use of Hearing Protection Awareness among Medical Students in Saudi Arabia: Mixed Qualitative and Quantitative Study.

BACKGROUND: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a prevalent occupational hazard among healthcare professionals, including medical students. Despite its detrimental effects, the awareness and utilization of hearing protection measures among medical students in Saudi Arabia remain understudied.

OBJECTIVE: Is to determine the level of awareness and understanding of NIHL among medical students in Saudi Arabia, as well as their knowledge and usage of hearing protection measures and to identify potential barriers and facilitators for hearing protection utilization.

METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was employed, involving a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews. The survey collected data on demographics, knowledge of NIHL, and hearing protection practices among medical students. Subsequently, a semi-structured interview was conducted to obtain in-depth insights into the students' experiences, attitudes, and beliefs regarding NIHL and the use of hearing protection.

RESULTS: The level about NIHL was 59.32%. Better access to information is associated with increased odds of awareness (odds ratio=3.07, p=0.012). Having relatives with hearing loss increases the odds of awareness (odds ratio =2.49, p=0.034). Individuals with hearing loss or impairment have higher odds of awareness (odds ratio =2.27, p=0.046). Ear Pain, temporary hearing loss, tinnitus, or ringing in the ear: These factors are not significantly associated with awareness of noise-induced hearing loss (p>0.05). Using hearing aids is strongly associated with increased odds of awareness (odds ratio =3.94, p=0.006).The quantitative analysis provided statistical information on the prevalence rates and factors influencing hearing protection usage, while the qualitative analysis uncover nuanced perspectives and experiences.

CONCLUSION: This research will contribute to the understanding of NIHL and hearing protection practices among medical students in Saudi Arabia. Improving hearing protection awareness and practices among medical students can ultimately reduce the incidence of NIHL and promote a healthier work environment within the healthcare sector.

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