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Health and Psychosocial Effect of Traffic Noise Exposure on Auditory Performance of Commercial Drivers in Ibadan Metropolis

Adenike E. Adesokan and Ayo Osisanya, Nigeria

Exposure to noise has been observed to have some deleterious effect on the health, hearing mechanism and psychosocial well-being of people working within the noise ravaging environment. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of noise exposure on the auditory mechanism, health and psychosocial well-being of commercial drivers who were purposively selected from five motor parks within Ibadan metropolis. A self-developed questionnaire titled Health and Psychosocial Traffic Noise Exposure Questionnaire with reliability coefficient of 0.78 was used to elicit responses from the participants. Data generated were analysed, using frequency counts, percentage and means. The findings revealed a high prevalence of hearing loss 373 (74.5%) of the participants reported difficulty in hearing whenever people speak in a whisper or at a very low voice. 339 (67.8%) of the participants reported that most times they strained their hearing systems to perceive environmental sound signals, especially while driving as well as after daily routine work. Additional findings revealed that majority of the participants had two or more health-related challenges due to traffic noise exposure and long-time driving activities. 297 (59.4%) of the participants were not aware of any hearing conservation programme. Additional findings revealed that majority of the participants were not aware of the hearing conservation programme as well as hazardous effect of traffic noise on their auditory performance, healthy life and psychosocial well-being. Reduced auditory performance has been found to be associated with continuous exposure to traffic noise among commercial drivers. Therefore, the study recommends effective hearing conservation programme, noise control education, lifestyle and behavioural changes.

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