Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Public Health


The purpose of this study is to examine the hearing tests that are done in the schools in the Philadelphia School District; it will examine the frequencies that are tested, the follow-up procedures for a poor performance in the exam, what barriers exist to follow-up, and educational methods used to prevent excessive noise-level. A previous literature review found that excessive noise was a major cause of hearing loss among school-aged children, and hearing impairment is increasing as a result of voluntary exposure to loud noise (Henderson, Testa, & Hartnick, 2011). Karper (2014) found that teenagers are not being tested at the right frequencies, and Abbasi (2014) found that the screening questions available do not identify which teenagers are at risk for hearing loss. A literature search was done using PubMed using keywords, such as “noise-induced hearing loss in pediatrics.”

According to the Pennsylvania School Health Guidelines (2016), a student whose pure-tone threshold hearing test shows a level that is 30 dB or more for two or more tones in either one or both ears, or 35 dB or more for one tone in either ear, will be referred to the family’s provider. If a student fails the hearing screen, a complete ear exam is recommended, and it is the family’s responsibility to schedule this exam and follow up with the family’s provider. This study looks into methods that will ensure proper testing and follow-up with the provider in the West Philadelphia area of the Philadelphia School District.

The expectation is that this study will evaluate the process of hearing screenings in schools in The City of Philadelphia, determine appropriate and effective methods of preventing noise-induced hearing loss, and find a way to ensure that all children get the follow-up care that they need. Collaboration between school officials, ENTs, pediatricians, and public health officials is necessary to properly address this problem.

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Public Health Commons