Research Forum  |   December 2012
Hearing Technology and Cognition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Larry E. Humes
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   December 2012
Hearing Technology and Cognition
American Journal of Audiology, December 2012, Vol. 21, 338-343. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0026)
History: Received May 23, 2012 , Accepted July 23, 2012
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2012, Vol. 21, 338-343. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0026)
History: Received May 23, 2012; Accepted July 23, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose: To summarize existing data on the interactions of cognitive function and hearing technology in older adults.

Method: A narrative review was used to summarize previous data for the short-term interactions of cognition and hearing technology on measured outcomes. For long-term outcomes, typically for 3–24 months of hearing aid use, a computerized database search was conducted.

Results: There is accumulating evidence that cognitive function can impact outcomes following immediate or short-term use of hearing aids and that hearing aids can impact immediate cognitive function. There is limited evidence regarding the long-term impact of hearing aids on cognition, and the most rigorous studies in this area have not observed a positive effect.

Conclusions: Although interactions have been observed between cognition and use of hearing aids for measures obtained following immediate or short-term usage of hearing technology, limited evidence is available following long-term usage, and that evidence that is available does not support an effect of hearing aids on cognitive function. More research is needed, however, including rigorous studies of older adults following longer periods of hearing aid usage.

Acknowledgments
We thank participants of the September 2011 Starkey Research Summit (Sonoma, CA) for valuable discussions on the topic of this article, particularly Jason Galster, who gave valuable comments to improve the review.
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