The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Fit for the frontline? A focus group exploration of auditory tasks carried out by infantry and combat support personnel

Fit for the frontline? A focus group exploration of auditory tasks carried out by infantry and combat support personnel
Fit for the frontline? A focus group exploration of auditory tasks carried out by infantry and combat support personnel
In order to preserve their operational effectiveness and ultimately their survival, military personnel must be able to detect important acoustic signals and maintain situational awareness. The possession of sufficient hearing ability to perform job-specific auditory tasks is defined as auditory fitness for duty (AFFD). Pure tone audiometry (PTA) is used to assess AFFD in the UK military; however, it is unclear whether PTA is able to accurately predict performance on job-specific auditory tasks. The aim of the current study was to gather information about auditory tasks carried out by infantry personnel on the frontline and the environment these tasks are performed in. The study consisted of 16 focus group interviews with an average of five participants per group. Eighty British army personnel were recruited from five infantry regiments. The focus group guideline included seven open-ended questions designed to elicit information about the auditory tasks performed on operational duty. Content analysis of the data resulted in two main themes: (1)the auditory tasks personnel are expected to perform and (2) situations where personnel felt their hearing ability was reduced. Auditory tasks were divided into subthemes of sound detection, speech communication and sound localization. Reasons for reduced performance included background noise, hearing protection and attention difficulties. The current study provided an important and novel insight to the complex auditory environment experienced by British infantry personnel and identified 17 auditory tasks carried out by personnel on operational duties. These auditory tasks will be used to inform the development of a functional AFFD test for infantry personnel.
auditory fitness, communication, hearing loss, military, noise exposure
1463-1741
127-135
Bevis, Zoe L.
fd2d4508-834d-4839-8d62-430e2b5812f9
Semeraro, Hannah
35b3bdf0-49cf-41ea-a37f-50884b5b349f
van Besouw, R.M.
464435ed-eadc-4fcc-9d69-eb267d8fe81b
Rowan, D.
5a86eebe-53da-4cd2-953e-e3ca1ae61578
Lineton, B.
1ace4e96-34da-4fc4-bc17-a1d82b2ba0e2
Allsopp, Adrian J.
53bea8d3-41df-44c6-ad39-f41bbbfef927
Bevis, Zoe L.
fd2d4508-834d-4839-8d62-430e2b5812f9
Semeraro, Hannah
35b3bdf0-49cf-41ea-a37f-50884b5b349f
van Besouw, R.M.
464435ed-eadc-4fcc-9d69-eb267d8fe81b
Rowan, D.
5a86eebe-53da-4cd2-953e-e3ca1ae61578
Lineton, B.
1ace4e96-34da-4fc4-bc17-a1d82b2ba0e2
Allsopp, Adrian J.
53bea8d3-41df-44c6-ad39-f41bbbfef927

Bevis, Zoe L., Semeraro, Hannah, van Besouw, R.M., Rowan, D., Lineton, B. and Allsopp, Adrian J. (2014) Fit for the frontline? A focus group exploration of auditory tasks carried out by infantry and combat support personnel. Noise and Health, 16 (69), 127-135. (doi:10.4103/1463-1741.132101).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In order to preserve their operational effectiveness and ultimately their survival, military personnel must be able to detect important acoustic signals and maintain situational awareness. The possession of sufficient hearing ability to perform job-specific auditory tasks is defined as auditory fitness for duty (AFFD). Pure tone audiometry (PTA) is used to assess AFFD in the UK military; however, it is unclear whether PTA is able to accurately predict performance on job-specific auditory tasks. The aim of the current study was to gather information about auditory tasks carried out by infantry personnel on the frontline and the environment these tasks are performed in. The study consisted of 16 focus group interviews with an average of five participants per group. Eighty British army personnel were recruited from five infantry regiments. The focus group guideline included seven open-ended questions designed to elicit information about the auditory tasks performed on operational duty. Content analysis of the data resulted in two main themes: (1)the auditory tasks personnel are expected to perform and (2) situations where personnel felt their hearing ability was reduced. Auditory tasks were divided into subthemes of sound detection, speech communication and sound localization. Reasons for reduced performance included background noise, hearing protection and attention difficulties. The current study provided an important and novel insight to the complex auditory environment experienced by British infantry personnel and identified 17 auditory tasks carried out by personnel on operational duties. These auditory tasks will be used to inform the development of a functional AFFD test for infantry personnel.

Text
NoiseHealth_2014_16_69_127_132101.pdf - Other
Download (917kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: March 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 May 2014
Keywords: auditory fitness, communication, hearing loss, military, noise exposure
Organisations: Human Sciences Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364862
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364862
ISSN: 1463-1741
PURE UUID: 5a177339-0ea8-4b68-a744-4a077acf81f2
ORCID for D. Rowan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7190-9997

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 May 2014 10:55
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 01:52

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Zoe L. Bevis
Author: Hannah Semeraro
Author: R.M. van Besouw
Author: D. Rowan ORCID iD
Author: B. Lineton
Author: Adrian J. Allsopp

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×