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Correlates of Perceived Hearing Handicap in a Veteran Sample

  • F. M. Alpass (a1), N. R. Long (a1), N. A. Pachana (a2) and J. A. Blakey (a1)

Abstract

Audiometric tests do not adequately reflect the hearing handicap experienced by individuals with hearing loss and account for only part of the variance in hearing handicap perceptions (Weinstein & Ventry, 1983). The present study investigates the relationship between degree of hearing impairment, psychosocial factors and hearing handicap in a New Zealand war veteran sample. Forty-seven veterans (Mean age = 77.51, SD = 5.99) with some degree of hearing impairment completed a questionnaire which included the Hearing Handicap Inventory (HHI) (Newman et al., 1990), the SF36 sub-scales for general health and mental health (Ware, Kosinski & Keller, 1994), questions relating to hearing aid use and demographic details. Audiometric test information for each veteran was accessed through the national war pensions organisation. Analyses revealed no significant relationship between percentage hearing loss and perceptions of hearing handicap. Those who reported lower satisfaction with their hearing aids, those in poorer physical health and those who had been using hearing aids for a longer time reported higher scores on the HHI. These findings suggest that aspects of the rehabilitation process are important factors in the individual's experience of hearing handicap and that non-auditory factors (such as general health) may be essential considerations in this process.

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Corresponding author

School of Psychology, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Email: F.M.Alpass@massey.ac.nz

References

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Correlates of Perceived Hearing Handicap in a Veteran Sample

  • F. M. Alpass (a1), N. R. Long (a1), N. A. Pachana (a2) and J. A. Blakey (a1)

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