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Opportunistic assessment of hearing in elderly inpatients

Ramdoo, K., Bowen, J., Dale, O. T., Corbridge, R., Chatterjee, A. and Gosney, M. A. (2014) Opportunistic assessment of hearing in elderly inpatients. Sage Open Medicine, 2. ISSN 2158-2440

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/2050312114528171


Objective: To determine the prevalence of occult hearing loss in elderly inpatients, to evaluate feasibility of opportunistic hearing screening and to determine subsequent provision of hearing aids. Materials and methods: Subjects (>65 years) were recruited from five elderly care wards. Hearing loss was detected by a ward-based hearing screen comprising patient-reported assessment of hearing disability and a whisper test. Subjects failing the whisper test or reporting hearing difficulties were offered formal audiological assessment. Results: Screening was performed on 51 patients aged between 70 and 95 years. Of the patients, 21 (41%) reported hearing loss and 16 (31%) failed the whisper test. A total of 37 patients (73%) were referred for audiological assessment with 17 (33%) found to have aidable hearing loss and 11 were fitted with hearing aids (22%). Discussion: This study highlights the high prevalence of occult hearing loss in elderly inpatients. Easy two-step screening can accurately identify patients with undiagnosed deafness resulting in significant proportions receiving hearing aids.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:36558
Uncontrolled Keywords:Elderly ; hearing loss ; deafness ; screening ; hearing aids


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