Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Public Health and Nutrition


This study examines the feasibility of a community health worker offering a programme of rehabilitation for workers with noise-induced hearing loss in Australia. The programme was developed by Louise Getty and Raymond Hetu from the Acoustics Group, University of Montreal, Quebec Canada. Legal and psychological issues surrounding noise induced hearing loss are discussed. The Getty and Hetu process for rehabilitation is reviewed in the light of the community development in health literature. Barriers to the rehabilitation process such as workers' reluctance to acknowledge hearing difficulties or to understand the effects of hearing loss are discussed.

It is found that with minor cultural adaptations that it is feasible to use this programme in Australia. Upon completion of the process, workers were more able to acknowledge their hearing problems and took appropriate steps to improve their hearing and listening skills. However, following their participation in the programme, workers rated their hearing problems as being more serious. The feasibility of offering the Getty and Hetu process within the existing community health infrastructure is discussed and a collaborative intervention for the systematic provision of rehabilitation services for workers with noise induced hearing loss, involving health workers from a variety of professional backgrounds is presented.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.