The Effects and Costs of a Hearing Screening and Rehabilitation Program in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly in the Netherlands1 Purpose: This study describes the effects and costs of hearing screening and rehabilitation in residential care homes for the elderly. It was hypothesized that offering an in-house hearing screening and rehabilitation program would be an effective strategy to increase hearing aid ownership among the residents.Method: All 705 residents ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   June 2013
The Effects and Costs of a Hearing Screening and Rehabilitation Program in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly in the Netherlands1
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. M. Linssen
    Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • M. A. Joore
    Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • E. J. J. M. Theunissen
    VieCuri Medical Centre, Venlo, The Netherlands
  • L. J. C. Anteunis
    Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Correspondence to L. J. C. Anteunis: lucien.anteunis@mumc.nl
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
  • © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Early Identification & Intervention / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   June 2013
The Effects and Costs of a Hearing Screening and Rehabilitation Program in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly in the Netherlands1
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 186-189. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0058)
History: Received October 26, 2012 , Accepted March 4, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 186-189. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0058)
History: Received October 26, 2012; Accepted March 4, 2013

Purpose: This study describes the effects and costs of hearing screening and rehabilitation in residential care homes for the elderly. It was hypothesized that offering an in-house hearing screening and rehabilitation program would be an effective strategy to increase hearing aid ownership among the residents.

Method: All 705 residents of 8 residential care homes in the Netherlands were invited to participate in a hearing screening (pure-tone audiometry) and rehabilitation (hearing aids) program. Resident participation was analyzed, and the costs were calculated.

Results: A total of 243 residents (34%) participated in the screening, 222 (91%) of whom had hearing loss. Ninety-one (41%) of the screening participants with hearing loss started rehabilitation, which was successful for 50 (55%) of them. Hearing aid ownership among the residents with hearing loss increased from 28% at the start of the program to 33% at the end. The costs were €1,896 (US $2,480) per successfully rehabilitated resident. Hearing aid trials and hearing aids together accounted for 83% of the total costs.

Conclusion: The effectiveness of the program was limited, as hearing aid ownership increased only slightly. Cost reduction measures should focus on decreasing the number of unsuccessful hearing aid trials.

Acknowledgments
This study was partially funded by the Heinsius Houbolt Foundation. The authors thank all involved hearing care professionals for their contributions to the program and for the careful data registration that enabled this evaluation study. A detailed study report can be requested from the corresponding author.
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