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 ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 78  |  Page : 320--327

Noise exposure and cognitive performance: A study on personnel on board Royal Norwegian Navy vessels


1 Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Research Group for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Bergen; Department of Occupational Medicine, Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
2 Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Research Group for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
3 Department of Health Promotion and Development, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
4 Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Correspondence Address:
Kaja Irgens-Hansen
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Research Group for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Bergen, Årstadveien 21, Bergen - 5009
Norway
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.165057

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Prior research shows that work on board vessels of the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) is associated with noise exposure levels above recommended standards. Further, noise exposure has been found to impair cognitive performance in environmental, occupational, and experimental settings, although prior research in naval and maritime settings is sparse. The aim of this study was to evaluate cognitive performance after exposure to noise among personnel working on board vessels in the RNoN. Altogether 87 Navy personnel (80 men, 7 women; 31 ± 9 years) from 24 RNoN vessels were included. Noise exposure was recorded by personal noise dosimeters at a minimum of 4 h prior to testing, and categorized into 4 groups for the analysis: <72.6 dB(A), 72.6-77.0 dB(A), 77.1-85.2 dB(A), and >85.2 dB(A). The participants performed a visual attention test based on the Posner cue-target paradigm. Multivariable general linear model (GLM) analyses were performed to analyze whether noise exposure was associated with response time (RT) when adjusting for the covariates age, alertness, workload, noise exposure in test location, sleep the night before testing, use of hearing protection device (HPD), and percentage of errors. When adjusting for covariates, RT was significantly increased among personnel exposed to >85.2 dB(A) and 77.1-85.2 dB(A) compared to personnel exposed to <72.6 dB(A).






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