The impact of hearing loss on the quality of life of elderly adults

ENT and Audiology Department, University Hospital of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
Clinical Interventions in Aging (Impact Factor: 2.65). 06/2012; 7:159-63. DOI: 10.2147/CIA.S26059
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in the elderly, and it is becoming a severe social and health problem. Especially in the elderly, hearing loss can impair the exchange of information, thus significantly impacting everyday life, causing loneliness, isolation, dependence, and frustration, as well as communication disorders. Due to the aging of the population in the developed world, presbycusis is a growing problem that has been reported to reduce quality of life (QoL). Progression of presbycusis cannot be remediated; therefore, optimal management of this condition not only requires early recognition and rehabilitation, but it also should include an evaluation of QoL status and its assessment.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: While the benefits of hearing aids among older adults with presbycusis have been well documented, there is limited research on hearing-aid usage. The aim of this review is to synthesize current evidence to identify the determinants of hearing-aid adoption and use among the elderly. Design: Systematic review. Study sample: Articles were identified through systematic searches in the Web of Science, Medline, CINAHL, and a manual search. Studies that explore the potential determinants of hearing-aid usage were to be included. Results: A total of twenty-two articles were reviewed. Four audiological determinants (the severity of hearing loss, the type of hearing aids, background noise acceptance, and insertion gain) and seven non-audiological determinants (self-perceived hearing problems, expectation, demographics, group consultation, support from significant others, self-perceived benefit, and satisfaction) were identified as affecting the adoption and use of hearing aids. Conclusions: There is a need to explore the influence of significant others, health professionals, and user demographics on hearing rehabilitation for future research. The determinants identified in this review depicted the stage progression of the trans-theoretical model (TTM) in explaining an individual's readiness to hearing-aid usage.
    International journal of audiology. 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the association of cognitive function, age, and hearing loss with clinically assessed hearing aid benefit in older hearing-impaired persons. Hearing aid benefit was assessed using objective measures regarding speech recognition in quiet and noisy environments as well as a subjective measure reflecting everyday situations captured using a standardized questionnaire. A broad range of general cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and intelligence were determined using different neuropsychological tests. Linear regression analyses were conducted with the outcome of the neuropsychological tests as well as age and hearing loss as independent variables and the benefit measures as dependent variables. Thirty experienced older hearing aid users with typical age-related hearing impairment participated. Most of the benefit measures revealed that the participants obtained significant improvement with their hearing aids. Regression models showed a significant relationship between a fluid intelligence measure and objective hearing aid benefit. When individual hearing thresholds were considered as an additional independent variable, hearing loss was the only significant contributor to the benefit models. Lower cognitive capacity - as determined by the fluid intelligence measure - was significantly associated with greater hearing loss. Subjective benefit could not be predicted by any of the variables considered. The present study does not give evidence that hearing aid benefit is critically associated with cognitive function in experienced hearing aid users. However, it was found that lower fluid intelligence scores were related to higher hearing thresholds. Since greater hearing loss was associated with a greater objective benefit, these results strongly support the advice of using hearing aids regardless of age and cognitive function to counter hearing loss and the adverse effects of age-related hearing impairment. Still, individual cognitive capacity might be relevant for hearing aid benefit during an initial phase of hearing aid provision if acclimatization has not yet taken place.
    Clinical Interventions in Aging 01/2015; 10:435-43. · 2.65 Impact Factor
  • Journal of International Advanced Otology 02/2015; 10(3):228-233. · 0.13 Impact Factor

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