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by: Petra Hansen


Marketplace > University of Florida > OTHER > SPA 4321 > AUDIOLOGIC REHAB
Petra Hansen
GPA 3.55

Michelle Colburn

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Michelle Colburn
Class Notes
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Petra Hansen on Friday September 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SPA 4321 at University of Florida taught by Michelle Colburn in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see /class/206795/spa-4321-university-of-florida in OTHER at University of Florida.




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Date Created: 09/18/15
The National Council on the Aging May 1999 Study conducted by the Seniors Research Group An alliance between The National Council on the Aging and Market Strategies Inc The National Council on the Aging 409 Third Street SW Suite 200 Washington DC 20024 2024791200 WWWHCOampOIg The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss in Older Persons The National Council on the Aging Table of Contents Background Scope of Hearing Problem among Older Americans The NCOA Study qunlfq 7 Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss Sadness Depression Worry Anxiety Less Social ActiVity Paranoia Emotional Turmoil and Insecurity Bene ts of Treatment Barriers to Treatment 1 i 9 Understanding the Effects on Individuals Increasing Family Awareness Raising Awareness among Healthcare Professionals Moth ml 9 Sample Other Studies Copyright 1999 The National Council on the Aging 409 Third Street NW Suite 200 Washington DC 20024 Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States More than nine million Americans over the age of 65 have a hearing loss More than 10 million middleaged Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 have a hearing loss Between 1971 and 1990 hearing loss in this age group increased by 26 percent according to the National Health Interview Survey Six out of seven middleaged Americans with hearing loss do not use hearing aids About three out of ve older Americans with hearing loss don t use hearing aids Despite the prevalence of hearing loss among older Americans relatively little is known about the effect of hearing loss and the impact of treatment ie using a hearing aid on the quality of their lives About the NCOA Study A review of previous studies pointed to the need for a largescale national survey to document the effect of hearing loss and lack of treatment among older Americans with hearing impairments NCOA commissioned the Seniors Research Group an alliance between NCOA and Market Strategies Inc to conduct a largescale national survey of older Americans that would quantify the social psychological and functional effects of hearing loss The goal of the study was to assess the effects of hearing loss on quality of life and compare these effects for those who wear hearing aids and those who do not Respondents in the survey included hearing aid users hearingimpaired seniors who do not use hearing aids nonusers and significant others spouse close family member or best friend of the hearingimpaired respondent A total of 2304 hearing impaired people responded and an additional 2090 family members or close friends responded to a parallel questionnaire that asked about the hearing impaired person The National Council on the Aging NCOA received an unrestricted grant from the Hearing Industries Association to conduct this research Some of the specific objectives for the survey include the following 0 Measure the effect of untreated hearing loss on quality of life among the hearing impaired Compare perceptions of the hearing impaired with family members Identify the reasons that those with hearing impairments do not seek treatment Assess the impact of using hearing aids on the quality of life of users Results Older people with hearing impairments that go untreated suffer many negative effects Compared to older hearingimpaired people who use hearing aids those who do not use hearing aids are more likely to report 0 sadness and depression worry and anxiety paranoia less social activity emotional turmoil and insecurity These difference remains when controlling for other factors such as the respondent s age gender and income On the other hand seniors whose hearing loss is treated of ten report benefits that include 0 better relationships with their families 0 better feelings about themselves 0 improved mental health 0 greater independence and security How Data Is Reported This summary report divides the survey responses by several categories First it divides the older hearingimpaired respondents into users and nonusers of hearing aids This summary also divides respondents into two levels of hearing lossi milder and more severe The study rated respondents severity of hearing loss based on their answers to a modified version of the fiveminute hearing test developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology which measures selfreported responses to such statements as I miss hearing some common sounds like the phone or doorbell ring Using the resulting severity scores respondents were divided into five equally sized groups quintiles ranging from least to most severe To simplify the results this summary of the data collapsed the responses into just two severity levels milder and more severe The milder level was created by combining the lowest two quintiles which represent the least hearing loss severity The more severe level was created by combining the top three quintiles for hearing loss severity Sadness Depression Respondents who do not use hearing aids were more likely than hearing aid users to report that there had been a period of two weeks or more in the past year during which they felt sad blue or depressed This difference remains when controlling for other factors such as the respondents age and income The percentage of those reporting depression increases with the severity oftheir hearing loss see Figure 1 Figure l Felt Sad 0r Depressed for Two or More Weeks during Past Year Level of Use Don t Use Hearing Loss Hearing Aid Hearing Aid Milder 14 23 More severe 22 30 Question 22 Worry Anxiety Examining responses to several questions about worry and anxiety the study found that respondents who do not use hearing aids were more likely to report these feelings than users For example nonusers were more likely to say there had been a period lasting a month or longer during the past year when they felt worried tense or anxious see Figure 2 Figure 2 Felt Worried Tense Anxious for Month or More During the Past Year Level of Use Don t Use Hearing Loss Hearing Aid Hearing Aid Milder 7 12 More severe l2 17 Question 26 Less Social Activity Social isolation is a serious problem for many older people who gradually lose vital contacts with their family friends and neighbors The study shows that hearingimpaired seniors who don t use hearing aids participated significantly less in organized social activity compared to users Among those with milder hearing loss nonusers were more than 20 percent less likely than users to regularly participate in social activities Among respondents with more severe hearing loss nonusers were more than 24 percent less likely to participate in social activities see Figure 3 Nonusers were also less likely to participate in senior center activities see Figure 4 Figure 3 Participate Regularly in Social Activities Level of Use Don t Use Hearing Loss Hearing Aid Hearing Aid Milder 47 37 More severe 42 32 Question 1 7 Figure 4 Participate in Senior Center Activities Level of Use Don t Use Hearing Loss Hearing Aid Hearing Aid Mild 24 15 More severe 21 16 Question 1 8 Paranoia Another measure of an emotional distress is the perception that other people get angry at me for no reason which psychologists often identify as an indicator of paranoia People with untreated hearing problems may well sense anger directed at them for no reason as they misinterpret what they hear or as have to ask people to repeat what they are saying As Figure 5 shows those who do not use hearing aids were nearly twice likely to agree that people get angry with me for no reason Among those with more severe hearing loss the difference between users and non users is even greater 14 percent of users agreed vs 36 of nonusers agreed with the statement Figure 5 People Get Angry with Me Usually for No Reason percent who agreed Level of Use Don t Use Hearing Loss Hearing Aid Hearing Aid Mild 13 24 More severe 14 36 Question 12 5 Emotional Turmoil Seniors with untreated hearing loss also reported a greater tendency to describe themselves as feeling insecure irritable fearful or tenseiespecially those with more severe levels of hearing loss Among more seniors with more severe hearing loss 11 percent of hearing aid users said the word insecure describes them compared to 17 percent of nonusers Figure 6 Figure 6 The Term Insecure Describes Me percentage who agreed Level of Use Don t Use Hearing Loss Hearing Aid Hearing Aid Mild 8 10 More severe ll 17 Question 1 6 9 Bene ts of Treatment On the other hand most users of hearing aids reported significant improvements in the quality of their lives since they began to use hearing aids Half or more reported better relationships at home and improved feelings about themselves Many also reported improvements in their con dence independence relations with children and grandchildren and view about life overall Figure 7 Along every dimension family members of the hearingimpaired person were even more likely to report improvements The majority of family respondents reported that use of hearing aids had resulted in improvements in terms of relations at home feelings about themselves life overall and relations with children or grandchildren Figure 7 Percentage of Users and Family Members Reporting Improvements from Using Healing Aids All All Milder Loss More Severe Improvement Users Family Users Fam Users Fam Relationships at home 56 66 44 59 60 68 Feelings about myself 50 60 40 54 53 61 Life overall 48 62 33 53 53 64 Mental health 36 39 29 37 38 39 Selfconfidence 39 46 28 35 42 48 Relationships w children grandchildren 40 52 28 44 43 53 Willing to participate in group activities 34 44 23 33 37 47 Sense of independence 34 39 27 30 36 41 Sense ofsafety 34 37 25 32 37 38 Ability to play cardboard games 31 47 25 39 33 49 Social life 34 41 27 28 36 45 Physical health 21 24 21 21 21 25 Dependence on others 22 31 17 26 24 32 Relationships at work 26 43 19 37 28 45 Ability to play sports 7 10 8 ll 7 9 Sex life 8 NA 4 NA 9 NA Barriers to Treatment Denial and Cost Why would someone with hearing loss not use a hearing aid or not seek medical advice Among nonusers the most common reason cited for not using a hearing aid was their belief that they do not need hearing aids see Figure 8 Even among those nonusers who characterized their hearing loss as severe or profound more than half denied needing hearing aids Others cited the expense their belief that hearing aids do not work lack of con dence in professionals who treat hearing loss and the stigma of wearing hearing aids Figure 8 Reasons for Not Using Hearing Aids percentage of respondents More Milder All Severe Loss Denial My hearing isn39t bad enough 69 64 73 I can get along without one 68 55 78 Consumer Concerns They are too expensive 55 64 48 They won t help my specific problem 33 36 31 I ve heard they don t work well 28 31 26 I don t trust hearing specialists 25 29 22 I tried one and it didn t work 17 20 15 StigmaVanity It would make me feel old 20 22 18 I don t like the way they look 19 21 18 I m too embarrassed to wear one 18 21 16 I don39t like what others will think about me l6 19 15 Implications Understand the Effects on Individuals Untreated hearing loss among older persons is a serious and prevalent problem The study found that from the mildest to the most severe hearing loss level hearingimpaired older persons who do not wear hearing aids are more likely to experience depression anxiety paranoia and emotional turmoil compared to people who wear hearing aids On the other hand hearingimpaired older persons who do use hearing aids are more likely than nonusers to be involved socially in their neighborhoods in organized social activities and at senior centers Most hearing aid users report signi cant bene ts from the aidsiin family relationships mental health and other areas that affect the quality of their lives In all categories family members observe even greater bene ts from the use of hearing aids than do the users themselves Denial is the most important barrier to hearing aid use Most hearingimpaired older persons who don t use hearing aids think they don t need them or can get by without them Cost considerations and vanity are also signi cant barriers for many older persons Increase Family Awareness Hearing loss affects not only the hearingimpaired person but often their families as well Families should be aware of and alert to the potential consequences of untreated hearing loss as well as the bene ts of using hearing aids Family members who suspect that a relative has a hearing loss should actively encourage the person to seek appropriate screening diagnosis and treatment Raise Awareness among Healthcare Professionals Because of the potential negative consequences of untreated hearing loss on a person s quality of life and family relationships hearing loss should be a routine topic of discussion for older persons and their doctors Physicians and other allied health professionals should encourage older people who are suspected of having a hearing loss to seek appropriate screening diagnosis and treatment Health professionals should also be aware that many older adults with significant hearing impairments tend to deny the extent of their hearing loss and to believe that they do not need treatment A simple veminute questionnaire administered to patients could help identify patients in need of referral to a hearing specialist Method In 1998 The National Council on the Aging NCOA commissioned the Seniors Research Group to conduct a survey of Americans age 50 and older to determine the effects of hearing loss in their lives A total of 2304 hearingimpaired people age 50 and older responded to the mail questionnaireia response rate of more than 75 percent of the 3000 persons contacted The survey is unique in several respects It is the largest survey of its kind it is national in scope and pro le and it systematically includes middleaged and older men and women who have both treated and untreated hearing loss Also this study is the first large hearingloss study to directly measure attitudes and perceptions of other family members Each hearingimpaired respondent was asked to have a family member respond to a set of questions that parallels the questionnaire lled out by the hearingimpaired person A total of 2090 family respondents returned the questionnaire The sample of 3000 hearingimpaired respondents age 50 and older was drawn from the Knowles Electronics 19971998 MarkeTrak IV Survey database conducted using the National Family Opinion Consumer Household Sample Other Studies There have been several smallscale studies that documented negative social and emotional effects that result from lack of treatment for hearing loss Lack of treatment has been linked to a reduction in effective social functioning Weinstein amp Ventry 1982 diminished psychological wellbeing Thomas amp Herbst 1980 Dye amp Peak 1983 lower selfesteem Harless amp McConnell 1982 and a reduction in general quality of life Mulrow Aguilar Endicott et al 1990 Carabellese Appollonio Rozzini et al 1993 Bridges amp Bender 1998 However the sample sizes in these studies were relatively small ranging in size from 20 to 251 Some studies looked at matched groups of participants one group with hearing aids and one without to measure effects Others were longitudinal studies based on an experimental intervention design with treated and untreated groups followed over time


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