Are you curious about the experience of hearing loss and auditory rehabilitation for your older adult patients who have a current psychiatric diagnosis? If so, you may want to read a recently published qualitative study by Emma Laird and colleagues (2020).
These authors interviewed 14 adults between the ages of 64 and 80 years who had received some form of auditory rehabilitation in the past year, had a current psychiatric diagnosis, and scored outside the range of normal for depression, anxiety, or stress on a screening instrument or on a screening instrument for psychosis.
Analyses of these interviews revealed that hearing loss contributed to psychological symptoms and psychological symptoms negatively affected subjective hearing ability.
Auditory rehabilitation, through hearing aids or a cochlear implant, while not perfect and without effort, was beneficial. Because some of the strategies and experiences of some of these study participants, however, diverged from prior reports in the literature, the authors suggest we need more research in this area.>
Additionally, since psychological symptoms can influence auditory rehabilitation, this provides further support for audiologists to be attentive to the mental health needs of their patients and refer when appropriate.
Laird E, Bennett R, Barr C, Bryant C. (2020) Experiences of hearing loss and audiological rehabilitation for older adults with comorbid psychological symptoms: a qualitative study.Am J Audiol 29(4):809-824.
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