Author(s): Espmark AK, Rosenhall U, Erlandsson S, Steen B
Abstract Share this page
Abstract A study of hearing disability and handicap was performed in a sample of elderly persons living in an urban area of Göteborg, Sweden. The aim was to describe the psychosocial consequences of presbyacusis. For this purpose, elderly persons with fairly uncontaminated presbyacusis were chosen. The study group consisted of 154 persons (59 men and 95 women) between the ages of 70 and 91 with a median age of 78 years. The methods used included a self-assessed hearing instrument, pure-tone audiometry, and registration of desired services regarding rehabilitative audiology. The questionnaire included 26 items, 20 of them within four areas: assessment of normality, communication, quality of life and environment/orientation. The results showed that the assessment, whether the hearing was normal or not, was correlated with audiometrically measured hearing. Many of the participants expressed concern that their hearing had deteriorated. Communication situations with background noise were troublesome for many of the participants, but they had only minor problems when performing daily activities like shopping. The quality of life in general was only mildly affected by hearing loss. Items regarding environment and orientation showed varying results. Some everyday aspects of listening were related to hearing ability, but directional hearing was not correlated with measured hearing. In spite of the participants' worry about hearing deterioration, only 8\% requested hearing aids as a result of the examination.
This article was published in Int J Audiol
and referenced in Journal of Aging Science