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Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:867852. doi: 10.1155/2014/867852. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Screening of cognitive function and hearing impairment in older adults: a preliminary study.

Author information

1
Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.
2
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Institute of Human Communicative Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous research has found that hearing loss is associated with poorer cognitive function. The question is that when a hearing impairment is being compensated for by appropriately fitted monaural hearing aids, special precautions are still needed when screening cognitive function in older adults.

OBJECTIVE:

This research examined cognitive function in elderly hearing aid users who used monaural hearing aids and whether the presence of a hearing impairment should be accounted for when screening cognitive function in these individuals.

METHODS:

Auditory thresholds, sentence reception thresholds, and self-reported outcomes with hearing aids were measured in 34 older hearing aid users to ensure hearing aids were appropriately fitted. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) results obtained in these participants were then compared to normative data obtained in a general older population exhibiting similar demographic characteristics. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were used to examine the effects of demographic and auditory variables on MMSE scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results showed that, even with appropriately fitted hearing aids, cognitive decline was significant. Besides the factors commonly measured in the literature, we believed that auditory deprivation was not being fully compensated for by hearing aids. Most importantly, screening of cognitive function should take into account the effects of hearing impairment, even when hearing devices have been appropriately fitted.

PMID:
25140321
PMCID:
PMC4130188
DOI:
10.1155/2014/867852
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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