Activity limitation and participation restriction in adults seeking hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation.Disabil Rehabil. 2006 Mar 15; 28(5):281-8.DR
We first aimed to describe demographic and audiological characteristics of adults referred to a university hospital for hearing aid (HA) fitting and rehabilitation. Our second aim was to employ an inventory that assesses life consequences of hearing impairment (HI) in terms of perceived activity limitation and participation restriction for the first time in a Norwegian adult outpatient population. A third aim was to study life consequences by audiological and demographic characteristics.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
During one year consecutive patients (n = 343) were requested to answer the Hearing Disability and Handicap Scale (HDHS) assessing activity limitation and participation restriction in relation to an audiological examination and medical consultation. The mean threshold of hearing (MTH) was ascertained by pure tone thresholds at 0.5 - 1 - 2 - 4 kHz in the better ear.
Activity limitation and participation restriction were both higher for HA experienced than HA naïve subjects (p < 0.01). In a multivariable model, the explained adjusted variance of activity limitation (R2) was 43.4% with MTH, perceived duration, and severity of hearing problems as predictor variables. Correspondingly, the explained adjusted variance of participation restriction was 28.4% for a model with MTH, age, gender and perceived severity of hearing problems as predictors.
As a standard supplement to audiometric tests, HDHS may be successfully applied as a clinical tool among similar hearing impaired outpatients in order to assess activity limitation and participation restriction as part of audiological rehabilitation.