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Am J Public Health. 2013 Jun;103(6):1134-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301031. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

Unmet hearing health care needs: the Beaver Dam offspring study.

Author information

1
Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53726, USA. snash@wisc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated the use of hearing health care services (hearing testing and hearing aids) by adults aged 21 to 84 years.

METHODS:

Hearing was tested and medical and hearing health histories were obtained as part of the Beaver Dam Offspring Study between 2005 and 2008 (n = 3285, mean age = 49 years).

RESULTS:

Of the cohort, 34% (55% of participants aged ≥ 70 years) had a hearing test in the past 5 years. In multivariate modeling, older age, male gender, occupation, occupational noise, and having talked with a doctor about a hearing problem were independently associated with having had a hearing test in the past 5 years. Hearing aid use was low among participants with a moderate to severe hearing impairment (22.5%) and among participants with a hearing handicap (8.6%), as determined by the Hearing Handicap Inventory.

CONCLUSIONS:

Data support the need for improvement in hearing health care. Hearing aids' effectiveness is limited if patients do not acquire them or do not use them once acquired. Future research should focus on developing effective strategies for moving patients from diagnosis to treatment.

PMID:
23597370
PMCID:
PMC3670658
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2012.301031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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