Author(s): Hickson L, Worrall L
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Abstract Many older adults with hearing impairment continue to have substantial communication difficulties after being fitted with hearing aids, and many do not choose to wear hearing aids. Two group communication education programs aimed at such older people are described. The 'Keep on Talking' program has a health promotion focus, and is aimed at maintaining communication for older adults living in the community. An experimental group (n = 120) attended the program, and a control group (n = 130) received a communication assessment but no intervention. Significant improvements were found in the experimental participants in terms of knowledge about communication changes with age and about strategies to maintain communication skills. At the follow-up evaluation at 1 year, 45\% of the experimental group, compared to 10\% of the control group, had acted to improve their communication skills. The 'Active Communication Education' program focuses on the development of problem-solving strategies to improve communication in everyday life situations. Preliminary outcomes have been assessed on a small scale (n = 14) to date. It is concluded that communication programs represent an important adjunct to, or supplement for, the traditional approach that focuses on hearing aid fitting.
This article was published in Int J Audiol
and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids