The influence of hearing aids on the quality of life of the elderly in an underprivileged community: a pilot study
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
xiii, 75 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies
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The current study aimed to identify and treat hearing loss in an underprivileged community and evaluate the effect, if any, amplification had on quality of life. A total of 15 adults, between the ages of 67 and 89 years, completed a cognitive screening, using the Six-Item Screener (SIS) and a hearing handicap screening, using the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly-Screener (HHIE-S) and underwent a peripheral hearing assessment. Seven of these participants were excluded from the analysis, as they did not meet the criteria for this study (4-frequency PTA (.5, 1, 2, & 4 kHz) > or = 26 dB HL, in at least one ear). Seven participants were fitted bilaterally. One participant, with a unilateral moderate to severe hearing loss, was fit with a contralateral routing of signals (CROS) hearing aid system. All participants fitted with hearing aids completed the HHIE-S questionnaire again, 4-5 weeks after their hearing aid fitting. Improvement in HHIE-S scores (lower scores) indicating an improved quality of life (QOL) after 4-5 weeks of hearing aid use were observed; however, when analyzed it was not a significant finding. The results also revealed a strong positive correlation between right and left ear 4-frequency PTAs and pre-HHIE-S scores. The correlation revealed that the more severe the hearing loss the greater impact on emotional and social quality of life as indicated by the HHIE-S scores. Results from this pilot study indicate that future studies should include more participants, use of the adaptation manager on the hearing aid(s) at the initial fitting, at least one follow-up appointment after the initial hearing aid fitting and before any follow-up questionnaires, and a longer duration between initial hearing aid fitting and administration of the second HHIE-S.