Validation of Self-Reported Hearing Loss Among Multi-Ethnic Community Dwelling older Adults in Malaysia
Dr. Wan Syafira Ishak,
Audiology Program, The National University of Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz-50300, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Introduction: Little is known about the prevalence of hearing loss and the usefulness of self-report hearing loss among older adults in Malaysia.
Aim: We conducted a population-based study to investigate the prevalence of self-reported hearing problem and its relationship with audiometric hearing thresholds in older adults in Selangor, Malaysia. We also investigated demographic factors that were associated with the self-reported hearing loss.
Materials and Methods: The participants were recruited from Selangor using a multi-stage clustered sampling involving 324 participants aged between 60 to 88-year-old (68.3Â±5.9 years). All participants underwent a face-to-face interview and pure tone audiometry. Self-reported hearing loss was obtained using three questions.
Results: The prevalence of self-reported hearing problems was 53.4%. This prevalence did not differ significantly among age group, gender, race and education level (p>0.05). Univariate and logistic regression analyses found that tinnitus and Pure Tone Average (PTA) of at least moderate hearing loss at 0.5 kHz to 4 kHz contributed significantly to the likelihood of self-reported hearing problem. Participants with tinnitus and participants with PTA at least moderate hearing loss at 0.5 kHz to 4 kHz were twice as likely to report hearing problem than their counterparts. The questions yielded poor sensitivity in identifying at least mild loss and moderate sensitivity for at least moderate hearing loss.
Conclusion: The present study highlights the need for a more effective self-report inventory or audiometry instrument that is less sensitive to background noise to better estimate hearing loss prevalence among adults in Malaysia.