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On-line version ISSN 2317-1782


TIKKA, Christina et al. Cochrane method for systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions to prevent occupational noise-induced hearing loss – abridged. CoDAS [online]. 2020, vol.32, n.2, e20190127.  Epub Apr 03, 2020. ISSN 2317-1782.


Assess the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions at work on noise exposure or occupational hearing loss compared to no or alternative interventions.

Research strategies

Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, OSHupdate, Cochrane Central and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) were searched.

Selection criteria

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), Controlled Before-After studies (CBA) and Interrupted Time-Series studies (ITS) evaluating engineering controls, administrative controls, personal hearing protection devices, and hearing surveillance were included. Case studies of engineering controls were collected.

Data analysis

Cochrane methods for systematic reviews, including meta-analysis, were followed.


29 studies were included. Stricter legislation can reduce noise levels by 4.5 dB(A) (very low-quality evidence). Engineering controls can immediately reduce noise (107 cases). Eleven RCTs and CBA studies (3725 participants) were evaluated through Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs). Training of earplug insertion reduces noise exposure at short term follow-up (moderate quality evidence). Earmuffs might perform better than earplugs in high noise levels but worse in low noise levels (very low-quality evidence). HPDs might reduce hearing loss at very long-term follow-up (very low-quality evidence). Seventeen studies (84028 participants) evaluated hearing loss prevention programs. Better use of HPDs might reduce hearing loss but other components not (very low-quality evidence).


Hearing loss prevention and interventions modestly reduce noise exposure and hearing loss. Better quality studies and better implementation of noise control measures and HPDs is needed.

Keywords : Noise-Induced Hearing Loss; Occupational Noise; Hearing Protective Devices; Systematic Review; Meta-Analysis.

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