Social Support and Coping on Quality of Life Among Elderly With Age-Related Hearing Loss

The consequences of hearing loss hinder the everyday life of older adults and are associated with reduced well-being | American Journal of Audiology

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Image source: Andrea Squatrito – Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Aim: The research aim was to explore the influence of hearing problems, various coping strategies, and perceived social support on quality of life.

Results: Quality of life was predicted by perceived social support and the number of comorbid diseases (i.e., the physical, psychological, environmental, and social quality of life was better the greater the extent of perceived social support and poorer the more diseases from which the participants suffered).

Conclusions: Perceived social support may be a relevant factor to focus on in auditory rehabilitation programs, in particular, for participants who communicate little support in hearing-related situations and are, hence, at a relative disadvantage. The involvement of significant others in counseling could facilitate the everyday life for older adults with age-related hearing loss and their significant others

Full reference: Moser, S. et al. (2017) The Influence of Social Support and Coping on Quality of Life Among Elderly With Age-Related Hearing Loss. American Journal of Audiology. Vol. 26(6) pp. 170-179. 

Hearing Impairment and Incident Frailty in English Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Hearing impairment is common in later life and is estimated to affect 20% of adults in Great Britain aged 60 and older. Age-related hearing impairment has been associated with comorbidity, disability, and poor quality of life, affecting independent living and overall well-being

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Image source: Franck Michel – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Objectives: To examine the association between hearing impairment and incident frailty in older adults.

Design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses with 4-year follow-up using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Participants: Community-dwelling individuals aged 60 and older with data on hearing and frailty status (N = 2,836).

Measurements: Hearing impairment was defined as poor self-reported hearing. Having none of the five Fried frailty phenotype components (slow walking, weak grip, self-reported exhaustion, weight loss and low physical activity) was defined as not frail, having one or two as prefrail, and having three or more as frail. Participants who were not frail at baseline were followed for incident prefrailty and frailty. Participants who were prefrail at baseline were followed for incident frailty.

Conclusion: Hearing impairment in prefrail older adults was associated with greater risk of becoming frail, independent of covariates, suggesting that hearing impairment may hasten the progression of frailty.

Full reference: Liljas, A.E.M. et al. (2017) Self-Reported Hearing Impairment and Incident Frailty inEnglish Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A 4-YearFollow-Up Study. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 65(5) pp. 958–965,

Comparison of tinnitus and psychological aspects between the younger and older adult patients

Park, S.Y. et al. (2017) Auris Nasus Larynx. 44(2) pp. 147–151

Objective: To explore the differences in various tinnitus-related features and psychological aspects between the younger and older adult patients with tinnitus.

Conclusion: The older patients seemed to be more receptive to tinnitus. The majority of older tinnitus patients had concomitant hearing loss, and thus hearing rehabilitation should be considered preferentially for tinnitus management in this age group. Subjective tinnitus severity, depressive symptoms, and the stress levels were similar between the younger and older tinnitus patients. Therefore, treatment could be planned based upon the comprehensive understanding of the tinnitus characteristics and psychological aspects in each patient irrespective of age.

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Hearing and vestibular rehabilitation, with a focus on the elderly

Fisher, E. et al. (2017) The Journal of Laryngology & Otology. 131(3) p. 189

The increasing proportion of our patients in the ‘elderly’ age group in the developed world has effects on ENT as well as every other branch of medicine. In The Journal of Laryngology & Otology in the recent past, we have looked at a variety of topics of particular interest to the otolaryngologist and geriatrician, including pharyngeal pouch, vestibular dysfunction and presbyacusis and cochlear implantation.

In this issue, an auditory brainstem response study focuses on the mechanism of hearing difficulty in the elderly, especially in noisy surroundings, comparing the elderly and young adults. This revealed significantly lower amplitudes and increased latencies in brainstem responses in the elderly, indicating that subcortical mechanisms are involved in this deficiency

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Speech perception enhancement in elderly hearing aid users

Yu, J. et al. (2017) Geriatrics & Gerontology International. Vol. 17. pp. 61–68.

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Aims: The goal of the present study was to develop an auditory training program using a mobile device and to test its efficacy by applying it to older adults suffering from moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss.

Conclusions: This result pattern suggests that a moderate amount of auditory training using the mobile device with cost-effective and minimal supervision is useful when it is used to improve the speech understanding of older adults with hearing loss.

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Using Cognitive Screening Tests in Audiology

Shen, J. et al. (2016) American Journal of Audiology. 25(4) pp. 319-331

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Purpose: The population of the United States is aging. Those older adults are living longer than ever and have an increased desire for social participation. As a result, audiologists are likely to see an increased demand for service by older clients whose communication difficulty is caused by a combination of hearing loss and cognitive impairment. For these individuals, early detection of mild cognitive impairment is critical for providing timely medical intervention and social support.

 

Conclusions: As health care professionals who serve the aging population, audiologists are likely to encounter cases of undiagnosed cognitive impairment. In order to provide timely referral for medical assistance as well as an optimized individual outcome of audiologic interventions, audiologists should be trained to recognize an abnormality in older clients’ cognitive status.

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Application-Based Hearing Screening in the Elderly Population

Livshitz, L. et al. (2017) Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. 126(1) pp. 36-41

Objectives: The effects of age-related hearing loss are severe. Early detection is essential for maximum benefit. However, most hearing-impaired adults delay obtaining treatment. Diagnostic hearing testing at an appropriate facility is impractical, and new methods for screening audiometry aim to provide easy access for patients and reliable outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of application-based hearing screening in an elderly population.

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