Hearing Loss: Could Graphic Novels Help Prevent The Problem?

First Posted: Jun 18, 2015 11:00 PM EDT

Researchers at the University of Wyoming have discovered that using graphic novels can help improve the quality of life for Spanish speaking agricultural workers. In fact, they found that certain vision or fantasies that they may have read about can actually help to better prevent hearing loss for some industry professionals.

Hearing loss is a lot more common in some parts of the world-particularly along the mountains of the West, which affect a great portion of Spanish-speaking agricultural workers and livestock, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2013 study. While many of the workers posses basic to early literally knowledge, many have less access to health care knowledge.

For this study in particular, the researchers plan to visit farms in both Wyoming and Colorado over the summer in order to determine if their level of knowledge and acceptance of wearing noise-induced hearing loss devices and their overall attitudes toward wearing them. Then, they're going to show a digital graphic novel (presented in Spanish through a paper book or an iPad) with depictions through a conversation between agricultural workers named Jose and Diego.

"We want to see if their knowledge and beliefs have changed," said study author Mark Guiberson, in a statement.  "Hearing conservation resources delivered in Spanish through digital media may lead to significant improvement in the hearing health of Spanish-speaking agricultural workers."

The $25,000 pilot study is funded by the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health through the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.

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