Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia
On-line version ISSN 1982-0232
SANTANA, Claudiane José et al. Unified National Health System users' knowledge about hearing. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.1, pp. 75-82. ISSN 1982-0232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-80342009000100013.
PURPOSE: To analyze the perception, habits and knowledge about hearing of a population of Brazilian Unified Health System users at cities from the Vale do Aço region. METHODS: Two hundred and fifty five individuals distributed by Primary Care Units and with ages varying from 20 to 60 years participated on the study. They answered a questionnaire that contained 14 questions regarding perception, habits and knowledge about hearing. RESULTS: Regarding the questions about hearing perception, 74.9% of the subjects reported to have a good hearing; 63.1% have some difficulty accompanying conversations; 54.5% have earache, 46.7% have tinnitus, and 41.2% have auricular plenitude. Regarding habits, 80.4% of the subjects reportedly use objects to clean their ears, 31.4% hear loud music, 7.1% use earphones, 84.7% judge that high volumes are harmful; 71% consider the use of cotton swabs to be healthy, and 66.9% believe that deafness is treatable. Statistically significant correlations were found between the perception of "bad hearing" and difficulties accompanying conversations (p<0.001), presence of tinnitus (p<0.001) and auricular plenitude (p<0.001). From the subjects that reported not to hear well, 83.8% were never submitted to hearing tests and had never received orientations from health professionals about hearing abilities (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: There was a great prevalence of harmful hearing habits; subjects' hearing perception was considerable, while knowledge about hearing was revealed deficient. These results lead to the questioning of the effectiveness of primary care actions regarding hearing health, as proposed by the Ordinance 567/2004.
Keywords : Audition; Primary health care; Health centers; Single health system.