Assessment of the Self Perceived Hearing Handicap and its Associated Factors in Elderly People with Hearing Loss MC09-MC12
Dr. Valli Rajasekaran,
Associate Professor, Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidhyapeeth University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Hearing loss is one of the most common sensory deficits in elderly people. With an increase in life expectancy globally, presbycusis has become a major problem. The hearing loss can affect the social, emotional, psychological and functional well being of an individual. Determining the hearing handicap and the factors associated with the same becomes the major driving force for their health-seeking behaviour.
Aim: To assess the degree of hearing handicap in elderly patients with hearing loss, to correlate the severity of hearing handicap with the severity of hearing loss and to identify various factors associated with hearing handicap.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 100 people more than 60 years of age with the sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing was assessed using pure tone audiometer. Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE) questionnaire was used to calculate the handicap scores from which the degree of handicap was assessed. The severity of handicap was correlated with the degree of hearing loss using chi-square test.
Results: From the study, it was found that hearing loss in elderly people causes some degree of handicap (69%). There was statistically significant correlation between the severity of hearing loss and the degree of handicap (p<0.0001). There was a statistically significant association between education statuses, marital status with the severity of hearing handicap.
Conclusion: From the findings in the study it can be concluded that older adults with hearing loss perceived social and emotional handicap. Any worsening in hearing will further impair the degree of handicap. People who were illiterate and living alone perceived significant handicap. Hence, identifying people with hearing handicap can help us in identifying and motivating people for further audiological screening and rehabilitation.