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 ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 69  |  Page : 79--88

Cognitive skills and the effect of noise on perceived effort in employees with aided hearing impairment and normal hearing


1 Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research; Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
2 Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University; School of Health and Medical Sciences and Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
3 Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University; School of Health and Medical Sciences and Örebro University; Audiological Research Centre, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Håkan Hua
Department of Behavioural Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping
Sweden
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.132085

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The aim of the following study was to examine the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC), executive functions (EFs) and perceived effort (PE) after completing a work-related task in quiet and in noise in employees with aided hearing impairment (HI) and normal hearing. The study sample consisted of 20 hearing-impaired and 20 normally hearing participants. Measures of hearing ability, WMC and EFs were tested prior to performing a work-related task in quiet and in simulated traffic noise. PE of the work-related task was also measured. Analysis of variance was used to analyze within- and between-group differences in cognitive skills, performance on the work-related task and PE. The presence of noise yielded a significantly higher PE for both groups. However, no significant group differences were observed in WMC, EFs, PE and performance in the work-related task. Interestingly, significant negative correlations were only found between PE in the noise condition and the ability to update information for both groups. In summary, noise generates a significantly higher PE and brings explicit processing capacity into play, irrespective of hearing. This suggest that increased PE involves other factors such as type of task that is to be performed, performance in the cognitive skill required solving the task at hand and whether noise is present. We therefore suggest that special consideration in hearing care should be made to the individual's prerequisites on these factors in the labor market.






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