Today’s meeting featured the debut of “Listen for Life”, a hearing conservation program developed by Brittany Cook, Rachel Lawson and Jessica McKee (mentored by Karen McNealy). What’s interesting about their program and their study is that most hearing conservation programs are geared toward fifth graders; some have the ability to be tailored down to the second grade level. Dr McNealy, however, felt that a younger age needed to be targeted, so it was decided to look at hearing conservation in first graders.
They conducted their study at a local school using a non-equivalent pre-test post-test design using a control group. Both groups were tested on their knowledge of what sounds were too loud and what they could do when a sound was too loud. The experimental group then participated in “Listen for Life” (and apparently, they were much more well-behaved than when the group tried the program out on CORP members!). Both groups were then given the post-test. Their results showed that the experimental group made gains on the test, while the control group’s scores actually dropped.
The group was able to share some great stories and information about how challenging it is to do human subject research and how extraneous variables can affect the validity of the work being done.