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Hearing protector fit-testing is an essential part of a hearing conservation program to ensure hearing protection devices are effectively protecting the wearer from hazardous noise. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, 1996) hearing protection device (HPD) Well-Fit™ was used to measure the personal attenuation rating for each individual’s 3M E-A-R Classic™ (3M, 2019) hearing protection device. The NIOSH HPD Well-Fit does not have official instructions for finding the personal attenuation rating. The purpose of this capstone research project was to investigate if there was a difference between personal attenuation rating (PAR) scores utilizing different methods of instruction (ascending, descending, or Békésy). Each method required the participant to go through different steps to obtain a threshold at each octave from 125-8000 Hz to calculate a PAR score. Three different written instruction methods were used to obtain PAR scores on 29 participants. A repeated measures analysis of variance showed no significant difference for PAR scores based on instruction method (F = 2.46286, p = .09). These results suggested no method of instruction used in this study produced a different PAR score than another and any of these methods of instruction would be appropriate to complete fit-testing. These results might be used to help simplify the process for completing fit-testing in real-world situations and streamlining hearing conservation programs.

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