Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment

A special issue of Audiology Research (ISSN 2039-4349).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 27668

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology/Division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: hearing disorders; audiology; deafness; hearing loss; ENT
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study published in 2019 reports that an estimated 1.57 billion people globally are affected by hearing loss, accounting for one in five people. The GBD study also states that in 2019 hearing loss was the third leading cause of years lived with disability, well exceeding diseases such as diabetes and depressive disorders. It is striking that the prevalence of hearing impairment is increasing, and the GBD study calculates that by 2050, a projected 2.45 billion will be afflicted, an increase of more than 50% from 2019.

Hearing impairment may negatively affect multiple aspects of an individual’s life when not addressed or when individuals’ communication needs are not supported. Hearing loss may reduce access to spoken communication, cause social deprivation, and affect quality of life. Deafness in early life may impede attendance at school and reduce employment opportunities in later life. Hearing loss may include loneliness, isolation, depression, and anxiety and may contribute to cognitive decline and dementia in older ages. Additionally, untreated hearing loss generates huge costs for society.

Hearing impairment rehabilitation is a must to reduce or eliminate the various deficits and, as far as possible, restore the individual to his/her pre-hearing-impairment state. One option is technical rehabilitation, but for more advanced hearing loss, an interdisciplinary extended audiological rehabilitation program with medical, psychological, social, and educational content should be offered.

The aim of the present Special Issue, “Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment”, is to elaborate on today’s evidence-based knowledge on hearing rehabilitation, to provide an update on technical rehabilitation by hearing aids and cochlear implants, and to highlight aspects of psychosocial rehabilitation of hearing impairment related to severity, age, gender, mental fatigue, comorbidity, rehabilitation at a distance, etc. We are greatly looking forward to and encourage submissions aiming to shed light on these meaningful aspects.

Prof. Dr. Sten Hellström
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • hearing rehabilitation
  • hearing loss
  • sensorineural hearing loss
  • hearing aids
  • cochlear implants
  • disability
  • patient-centered care
  • rehabilitation strategies
  • quality of life

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 345 KiB  
Article
Value Propositions of Public Adult Hearing Rehabilitation in Denmark
by Katja Lund, Rodrigo Ordoñez, Jens Bo Nielsen, Stine Christiansen, Sabina Storbjerg Houmøller, Jesper Hvass Schmidt, Michael Gaihede and Dorte Hammershøi
Audiol. Res. 2023, 13(2), 254-270; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres13020023 - 12 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Objective: To obtain and evaluate detailed descriptions of potential value propositions as seen by adults undergoing hearing rehabilitation with hearing aids. Design: Semi-structured interviews with patients and audiologists, a literature search, and the inclusion of domain knowledge from experts and scientists were used [...] Read more.
Objective: To obtain and evaluate detailed descriptions of potential value propositions as seen by adults undergoing hearing rehabilitation with hearing aids. Design: Semi-structured interviews with patients and audiologists, a literature search, and the inclusion of domain knowledge from experts and scientists were used to derive value propositions. A two-alternative forced-choice paradigm and probabilistic choice models were used to investigate hearing aid users’ preferences for the value propositions through an online platform. Study sample: Twelve hearing aid users (mean age 70, range 59–70) and eleven clinicians were interviewed. A total of 173 experienced hearing aid users evaluated the value propositions. Results: Twenty-nine value propositions as described by patients, clinicians, and hearing care experts where identified, from which twenty-one value propositions were evaluated. Results of the pair-wise evaluation method show that the value propositions judged to be the most important for the hearing aid users were: “13. To solve the hearing problem you have”, “09. Thorough diagnosis of the hearing”, and “16. The hearing aid solution is adapted to individual needs”, which are related to finding the correct hearing solution and to be considered in the process. The value propositions judged to be least important were: “04 Next of kin and others involved in the process”, “26. To be in the same room as the practitioner”, and “29. The practitioner’s human characteristics”, related to the involvement of others in the process and the proximity and personal manner of the practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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15 pages, 2046 KiB  
Article
Self-Reported Hearing-Aid Use Patterns in an Adult Danish Population
by Sreeram K. Narayanan, Sabina S. Houmøller, Anne Wolff, Katja Lund, Sören Möller, Dan D. Hougaard, Michael Gaihede, Jesper H. Schmidt and Dorte Hammershøi
Audiol. Res. 2023, 13(2), 221-235; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres13020021 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2322
Abstract
The retrospective reporting of users’ hearing aid (HA) usage can provide insight into individualized HA usage patterns. Understanding these HA usage patterns can help to provide a tailored solution to meet the usage needs of HA users. This study aims to understand the [...] Read more.
The retrospective reporting of users’ hearing aid (HA) usage can provide insight into individualized HA usage patterns. Understanding these HA usage patterns can help to provide a tailored solution to meet the usage needs of HA users. This study aims to understand the HA usage pattern in daily-life situations from self-reported data and to examine its relationship to self-reported outcomes. A total of 1537 participants who responded to questions related to situations where they always took off or put on the HAs were included in the study. A latent class analysis was performed to stratify the HA users according to their HA usage pattern. The results showed distinct usage patterns in the latent classes derived for both scenarios. The demographics, socio-economic indicators, hearing loss, and user-related factors were found to impact HA usage. The results showed that the HA users who reported using the HAs all the time (regular users) had better self-reported HA outcomes than situational users, situational non-users, and non-users. The study explained the underlying distinct HA usage pattern from self-reported questionnaires using latent class analysis. The results emphasized the importance of regular use of HAs for a better self-reported HA outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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8 pages, 5344 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) Questionnaires in a Large Cohort of Self-Reported Normal-Hearing Adult Listeners
by Nirmal Srinivasan and Sadie O’Neill
Audiol. Res. 2023, 13(1), 143-150; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres13010014 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2050
Abstract
The Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) are two most commonly used questionnaires in the audiology clinic to assess an individual’s self-perception of their hearing ability. Here, we present the outcomes of [...] Read more.
The Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) are two most commonly used questionnaires in the audiology clinic to assess an individual’s self-perception of their hearing ability. Here, we present the outcomes of these two questionnaires on a large group of self-reported normal hearing adult listeners. A total of 254 self-reported normal-hearing younger and older adults completed the SSQ and the APHAB questionnaire. The younger participants completed the questionnaires through Qualtrics, whereas the older participants completed the questionnaire through Qualtrics and a traditional pen-and-paper method. The younger listeners perceived a higher ability compared to the older adults in all the SSQ subscales (Speech, Spatial, and Qualities) and reported a lesser frequency of the problems in three of the four APHAB subscales (Ease of communication, Reverberation, and Background Noise). There was no significant difference in the frequency of the problems reported in the Aversiveness subscale. Self-reported normal-hearing listeners do not rate their listening ability at the top of the ability scale. Additionally, the large dataset presented here has a potential normative value for the SSQ and the APHAB questionnaires for self-reported normal-hearing adult listeners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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11 pages, 2251 KiB  
Article
Do Patients Aged 85 Years and above Benefit from Their Cochlear Implants?
by Karin Hallin, Ulrika Larsson and Nadine Schart-Morén
Audiol. Res. 2023, 13(1), 96-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres13010010 - 19 Jan 2023
Viewed by 3726
Abstract
The present study aims to investigate the usage and benefits of cochlear implants (CIs) in elderly patients aged ≥85 years, including their device-handling issues, follow-ups, and the influence on their well-being. The patients answered one questionnaire regarding quality of life, EQ5D-3L, and one [...] Read more.
The present study aims to investigate the usage and benefits of cochlear implants (CIs) in elderly patients aged ≥85 years, including their device-handling issues, follow-ups, and the influence on their well-being. The patients answered one questionnaire regarding quality of life, EQ5D-3L, and one questionnaire, obtained from the Swedish CI quality register, regarding usage, handling, satisfaction, remaining difficulties, etc. The medical records were searched for the implantation date, implant model, speech processor model, monosyllabic (MS) word scores, infections over the implant, and compliance regarding scheduled visits to the clinic. The results show that most elderly patients are satisfied full-time users of their implants. Even though most patients had no problems handling their CI, handling issues must be considered. Recurring guidance and training on device operation are needed. We suggest that follow-up visits are essentially needed for this group of patients on a regular basis. CI surgery is considered a safe treatment, even for the elderly. Upgrads to new external equipment (e.g., sound processors) should not be excluded because of their age. The results suggested that the CI positively affected their well-being. This study was approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (5/10-2021, Dnr: 2021-04970). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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12 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
The Role and Relevance of Hearing Dogs from the Owner’s Perspective: An Explorative Study among Adults with Hearing Loss
by Audrey Lalancette, Marie-Alycia Tremblay and Mathieu Hotton
Audiol. Res. 2023, 13(1), 64-75; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres13010006 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
This study aimed to explore perceptions and experiences about how owning a hearing dog can influence the functioning and the autonomy of people with hearing loss. Three adults participated in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were video recorded, transcribed, and coded. A procedure [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore perceptions and experiences about how owning a hearing dog can influence the functioning and the autonomy of people with hearing loss. Three adults participated in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were video recorded, transcribed, and coded. A procedure combining qualitative content analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis was used. The study shows how specific aspects of hearing dogs are associated with increased autonomy and sense of security among owners. The attentive dog-owner pairing, the outstanding training and the companion role of the hearing dog are the main elements supporting the high satisfaction related by all the participants. In regard of the location context (Quebec, Canada), ongoing challenges for owners are reflected in the lack of visibility of this rehabilitation means and its poor recognition from the society, resulting in the constant burden to explain the dog’s work to others. For adults with hearing loss, the hearing dog is a relevant way of offering both the benefits of functional assistance and the psychosocial support of a pet. The association between owning a hearing dog and improved overall well-being suggests that this form of rehabilitation should be considered as a pertinent option by hearing health professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
21 pages, 6570 KiB  
Article
Adaptive Syllable Training Improves Phoneme Identification in Older Listeners with and without Hearing Loss
by Annette Schumann and Bernhard Ross
Audiol. Res. 2022, 12(6), 653-673; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres12060063 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
Acoustic-phonetic speech training mitigates confusion between consonants and improves phoneme identification in noise. A novel training paradigm addressed two principles of perceptual learning. First, training benefits are often specific to the trained material; therefore, stimulus variability was reduced by training small sets of [...] Read more.
Acoustic-phonetic speech training mitigates confusion between consonants and improves phoneme identification in noise. A novel training paradigm addressed two principles of perceptual learning. First, training benefits are often specific to the trained material; therefore, stimulus variability was reduced by training small sets of phonetically similar consonant–vowel–consonant syllables. Second, the training is most efficient at an optimal difficulty level; accordingly, the noise level was adapted to the participant’s competency. Fifty-two adults aged between sixty and ninety years with normal hearing or moderate hearing loss participated in five training sessions within two weeks. Training sets of phonetically similar syllables contained voiced and voiceless stop and fricative consonants, as well as voiced nasals and liquids. Listeners identified consonants at the onset or the coda syllable position by matching the syllables with their orthographic equivalent within a closed set of three alternative symbols. The noise level was adjusted in a staircase procedure. Pre–post-training benefits were quantified as increased accuracy and a decrease in the required signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and analyzed with regard to the stimulus sets and the participant’s hearing abilities. The adaptive training was feasible for older adults with various degrees of hearing loss. Normal-hearing listeners performed with high accuracy at lower SNR after the training. Participants with hearing loss improved consonant accuracy but still required a high SNR. Phoneme identification improved for all stimulus sets. However, syllables within a set required noticeably different SNRs. Most significant gains occurred for voiced and voiceless stop and (af)fricative consonants. The training was beneficial for difficult consonants, but the easiest to identify consonants improved most prominently. The training enabled older listeners with different capabilities to train and improve at an individual ‘edge of competence’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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15 pages, 509 KiB  
Article
Using an Online Tool to Apply a Person-Centred Approach in Audiological Rehabilitation: A Pilot Study
by Nerina Scarinci, Kristen Tulloch, Carly Meyer, Katie Ekberg and Christopher Lind
Audiol. Res. 2022, 12(6), 620-634; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres12060060 - 2 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2501
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the experiences of adult clients with hearing loss and their audiologists in using an online tool, the Living Well Tool (LWT), during initial audiology appointments. The LWT is designed to help clients identify when and where it is [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the experiences of adult clients with hearing loss and their audiologists in using an online tool, the Living Well Tool (LWT), during initial audiology appointments. The LWT is designed to help clients identify when and where it is most important for them to communicate effectively and live well with hearing loss. A total of 24 adult clients with hearing loss and two audiologists participated in this study. Clients were invited to complete the LWT prior to their next audiology appointment, however, most clients chose to use the LWT in-session with their audiologist. Following the appointment, clients and audiologists participated in individual qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore their experiences of using the LWT, and the extent to which the LWT facilitated person-centred care. Qualitative analysis five key themes which reflected participants’ experiences and perceptions of using the LWT: (1) the LWT enhances audiological care; (2) the LWT supports person-centred audiological care; (3) the use of the LWT should be individualised; (4) users value comprehensiveness; and (5) users value accessibility. This study demonstrated that the LWT supported the provision of person-centred audiological care, providing a flexible, comprehensive and accessible means for audiologists to gain an understanding of their clients’ needs and preferences. However, it was also noted that the use of a tool must be individualised and accessible for all. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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24 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Investigation of Clients, Significant Others, and Clinicians’ Experiences of Using Wireless Microphone Systems to Manage Hearing Impairment
by Nerina Scarinci, Mansoureh Nickbakht, Barbra H. Timmer, Katie Ekberg, Bonnie Cheng and Louise Hickson
Audiol. Res. 2022, 12(6), 596-619; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres12060059 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of adults with hearing impairment (HI), their significant others (SOs), and clinicians regarding the use and provision of wireless microphone systems (WMS). A qualitative descriptive methodology was used, with a total of 43 participants [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of adults with hearing impairment (HI), their significant others (SOs), and clinicians regarding the use and provision of wireless microphone systems (WMS). A qualitative descriptive methodology was used, with a total of 43 participants across three groups: (1) 23 adults with HI who used WMS; (2) 7 SOs of adults who used WMS; and (3) 13 clinicians who provided WMSs to adults with HI. Participants completed an individual semi-structured in-depth interview to explore their experiences, with the data analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis revealed five themes encompassing the perceptions and experiences of WMSs: (1) with experience and clear expectations, users believe that WMS can make a difference; (2) the trial and decision-making process is important; (3) clients’ experiences using WMS; (4) issues with WMS and technology; and (5) users require ongoing training and support to use WMS. These findings highlight the complexities of providing and using WMS with adults with HI. However, clients, SOs, and clinicians all reported that, with appropriate experience, expectations, training, and support, WMS can make a real difference in listening and communicating in different situations. There is also an opportunity to involve SOs more throughout the rehabilitation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
12 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
Rehabilitation of Severe-to-Profound Hearing Loss in Adults in Sweden
by Christian Löfvenberg, Satu Turunen-Taheri, Per-Inge Carlsson and Åsa Skagerstrand
Audiol. Res. 2022, 12(4), 433-444; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres12040044 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1960
Abstract
Severe-to-profound hearing loss (STPHL) can affect a person negatively in many ways. Audiological rehabilitation is important for these patients. Patients receiving cochlear implants make up less than 10% of this group but have been studied extensively. In 2005, a national registry for adult [...] Read more.
Severe-to-profound hearing loss (STPHL) can affect a person negatively in many ways. Audiological rehabilitation is important for these patients. Patients receiving cochlear implants make up less than 10% of this group but have been studied extensively. In 2005, a national registry for adult patients with STPHL was introduced in Sweden. Its purpose was to evaluate and improve rehabilitation for all patients with STPHL. Data from the Swedish registry for adult patients with STPHL were used to evaluate variables affecting the audiological rehabilitation. Previous published data from the registry were reviewed, and new data from the follow-up questionnaire were presented. More than 90% of patients rehabilitated with hearing aids experienced a good or very good benefit of audiological rehabilitation. Tinnitus and vertigo affected quality of life negatively and were reported by many patients with STPHL (41% and 31%) at follow-up. To maintain the high number of patients who find audiological rehabilitation beneficial, individualized treatment plans and timely re-evaluations are crucial. Tinnitus and vertigo need to be addressed repeatedly in the rehabilitation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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10 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
An Adaptation and Validation Study of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) in Italian Normal-Hearing Children
by Chiara Falzone, Letizia Guerzoni, Erica Pizzol, Enrico Fabrizi and Domenico Cuda
Audiol. Res. 2022, 12(3), 297-306; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres12030031 - 29 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2295
Abstract
This study aimed to translate and adapt the English version of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) for children and for parents into the Italian language; validate SSQ for hearing children and their parents; and evaluate the discriminant validity of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to translate and adapt the English version of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) for children and for parents into the Italian language; validate SSQ for hearing children and their parents; and evaluate the discriminant validity of the instrument. A group of 102 normal-hearing Italian children, aged between 9 and 16 years, and their parents were included in this study. A group of 31 parents of normal-hearing Italian children aged between 6 and 8 years was also included. A group of 57 hearing-impaired Italian children aged between 9 and 16 years, and their parents were also included, as well as a group of 30 parents of hearing-impaired Italian children aged between 6 and 8 years. Cronbach’s alpha in the SSQ for parents was 0.92; it was 0.95 in the SSQ for children. Guttmann’s split-half coefficient in SSQ for children for both λ4 and λ6 was 0.98; in SSQ for parents in λ4 was 0.96 and λ6 was 0.95. These data provide evidence for the discriminant validity of the SSQ scale (p-value < 0.001). Italian SSQ scales for children and for parents are now available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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11 pages, 874 KiB  
Article
Audiologist’s Perspective in Auditory Rehabilitation: Implications for Ethical Conduct and Decision-Making in Portugal
by Tatiana Marques, Margarida Silvestre, Bárbara Santa Rosa and António Miguéis
Audiol. Res. 2022, 12(2), 171-181; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres12020020 - 26 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2626
Abstract
Ethical standards in audiology have been continuously improved and discussed, leading to the elaboration of specific regulatory guidelines for the profession. However, in the field of auditory rehabilitation, audiologists are still faced with circumstances that question their ethical principles, usually associated with the [...] Read more.
Ethical standards in audiology have been continuously improved and discussed, leading to the elaboration of specific regulatory guidelines for the profession. However, in the field of auditory rehabilitation, audiologists are still faced with circumstances that question their ethical principles, usually associated with the support of the hearing aids industry. The study explores the decision-making process and ethical concerns in auditory rehabilitation as they relate to the practice of audiology in Portugal. An online questionnaire constructed by the authors was used and sent to the email addresses of a list of audiologists, registered with the Portuguese Association of Audiologists. The questionnaire was answered by 93 audiologists with clinical experience in auditory rehabilitation for more than one year. The collected data demonstrated that audiometric results and clinical experience are the most important factors for decision-making in auditory rehabilitation practice. Moreover, incentives from the employers or manufacturers were identified as the main cause of ethical dilemmas. This study highlights the ethical concerns regarding the clinical practice of auditory rehabilitation in Portugal, revealing that the decision-making process is complex and, specifically in this field, the current practice may not be adequate for effective compliance with professional ethical standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment)
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