Adult Hearing Screening: Health Policy Issues—What Happens Next? PurposeTen percent of adults in England have some type of hearing loss and would greatly benefit from hearing aids or other forms of hearing management. However, 76% of these adults do not have hearing aids or other management. The impact of this unmet need can be substantial and has been ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   June 01, 2013
Adult Hearing Screening: Health Policy Issues—What Happens Next?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adrian Davis
    Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Pauline Smith
    University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, UK
  • Correspondence to Adrian Davis: adriandavis@nhs.net
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   June 01, 2013
Adult Hearing Screening: Health Policy Issues—What Happens Next?
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 167-170. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0062)
History: Received November 4, 2012 , Accepted February 18, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 167-170. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0062)
History: Received November 4, 2012; Accepted February 18, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeTen percent of adults in England have some type of hearing loss and would greatly benefit from hearing aids or other forms of hearing management. However, 76% of these adults do not have hearing aids or other management. The impact of this unmet need can be substantial and has been linked to depression, social isolation, employment problems, loss of independence, and dementia. This article explores how hearing screening—universal, targeted, or opportunistic—can address prevalent, incident, and future needs for hearing services as well as better define the extent of need.

MethodAdults age ≥60 years living at home in England took part in a health survey, part of which was to determine the extent of need for hearing services in this population. Survey methods included a face-to-face interview and hearing screening using pure tones as well as a self-report questionnaire on other health issues.

ResultsThe survey highlighted additional hearing-related factors that will enable referral decisions in primary care to be made with reasonable confidence that patients will use hearing aids and benefit from them. Some relevant nonhearing factors are also reported.

ConclusionThere is a growing aging population with increasing needs and expectations for hearing services. Targeted screening and triage in primary care, as well as use of advanced technologies, are discussed for the future.

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