Optimizing Hearing Loss Prevention and Treatment, Rehabilitation and Re - Integration of Soldiers with Hearing Impairment
NATO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE (FRANCE) NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE France
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This report documents the findings of Task Group HFM-229 2012 2015, which analyzed the impact of hearing loss prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of soldiers with hearing impairment in the military. It proposes the structure of a database for hearing screening and surveillance of hearing loss developed by this group and indicates fields of possible common research to be performed in the future. Hearing is a key function and critical sense for military performance. The ability to communicate is crucial for effective command and control, and personal and unit safety, and does affect survival. Hearing provides critical situational awareness, communication and sound localization information in combat and everyday operations. In order to identify hearing readiness criteria, ensure such criteria are met, identify soldiers at risk of hearing loss, and to judge the quality and timeliness of hearing rehabilitation and hearing prevention programs, a hearing health surveillance system and database is necessary. This report outlines the structure and classification criteria of hearing relevant data that can be implemented in almost all NATO Nations, despite language specific differences. The recommendation of automatic screening systems facilitates workload management, and reduces cost and time per soldier to optimize collection of data within resource constraints. The concept facilitates the ability of Military leaders to increase their Service members effectiveness, safety, hearing health and quality of life by safeguarding the crucial sensory function of hearing. The modularity of the database concept will allow it to be integrated into other medical or fitness databases and expanded by other screening modules to maintain relevance and currency.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations