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Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Mar-Apr;79(2):177-84.

Hearing aids and recovery times: a study according to cognitive status.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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  • 1Graduate Program in Human Communication Disorders, Speech and Hearing Department, Medical School of the University of São Paulo, UNIFESP/EPM, Brazil.


Studies have shown that elderly people with cognitive impairments benefit more from hearing aids with slower recovery times.


To study participation constraints and speech recognition in noise of elderly subjects equipped with hearing aids of different recovery times according to cognitive impairment status.


Fifty subjects aged between 60 and 80 years were followed for four months. They were divided at first in groups of individuals without (G1; n = 24) and with (G2; n = 26) cognitive impairment based on results of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale -Cognitive Sub-scale test. Half the members of each group received hearing aids with faster recovery times and half got slower recovery aids, thus forming four groups: two without cognitive impairment (faster recovery - G1F; slower recovery - G1S) and two suspected for cognitive impairment (faster recovery - G2F; slower recovery - G2S). All subjects were interviewed, submitted to basic audiological assessment, asked to answer the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly questionnaire, and tested for speech recognition in noise. ANOVA, McNemar's test, and the Chi-square test were applied. The significance level was set at 5%.


There was significant improvement in participation constraint and speech recognition in noise with hearing aids alone. Sub-group G2F needed more favorable signal-to-noise ratios to recognize 50% of the speech in noise.


Participation constraint and speech recognition in noise were improved regardless of recovery times or cognitive impairment status.

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