Intervention Effectiveness

A good program evaluation is the KEY to a successful, long-term program. The Dangerous Decibels program has been tested for its effectiveness in changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding protecting hearing from noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

Each component (classroom program, virtual exhibit, museum exhibit) of the Dangerous Decibels program has been evaluated through formative and summative testing in classrooms in Oregon and SW Washington and at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon. Testing has been done on the individual components of the program presented once and also with combinations so that students experienced the message multiple times through multiple interventions.

The two formative evaluations were conducted during the development phases of the program. We wanted to be sure that the components of the program were not only teaching them effectively but were also, fun, interactive, and engaging. It was very helpful and eye opening to get feedback from our target audience (1st, 4th and 7th graders) and their teachers who would needed to buy in to this program as something that complemented their curricula goals. We did this through focus groups, interviews and surveys. Once we were confident that the components of the program were working well, we conducted three summative evaluations. Summative evaluations were directed at evaluating whether or not the program was improving knowledge, and changing attitudes and behaviors. The first summative evaluation was conducted with all 3 grade groups. The second and third summative evaluation were conducted to compare the classroom program with other types of ways to present the hearing loss prevention information and to see if it matter as to who was presenting the program.

Dangerous Decibels Formative and Summative Evaluations of Program Components.

Year of study Type of Study # of students Grades Included
2001 Classroom Formative 297 4th
2002 Classroom Formative 400 1st, 4th, 7th
2003 Classroom Summative 1,630 1st, 4th, 7th
2004/05 Four Intervention Summative 1,118 4th
2005/06 Paired Intervention Summative 889 4th

Total: 4,334 students

Below is the abstract for a paper published of the effectiveness of the classroom program alone.

Effectiveness of Dangerous Decibels®, a School-Based Hearing Loss Prevention Program

Susan E. Griest, M.P.H., Robert L. Folmer, Ph.D., William Hal Martin, Ph.D.

Am. J. Audiology, Vol. 16, S165–S181, December 2007

Future studies should include components on peer-pressure and should incorporate repeated, multi-modality interventions to increase the likelihood of long-term improvement in adolescents.