Psychology

Psychology

Adult Aural Rehabilitation Outcomes

Barker et al (2015) report that evidence indicates hearing aid use can reduce rates of depression and anxiety. Further, hearing aid use can improve emotional stability and independence, can reduce social isolation, and improve quality of life. However, non-use after acquisition ranges from 5 to 40 percent. Of note, non-adherence is not a unique problem relating to hearing aids, non-adherence occurs across patients associated with multiple health-care disciplines.

Read more

The New World of Audiology

Beck and Adcock (2014) reported that it is time we all become committed to establishing a new social norm in hearing care—one that focuses on “maximal hearing and listening” and one that focuses on addressing and countering the “widespread negativity associated with hearing aids….which views hearing health care (at best) as generally irrelevant and (at worst) as a threat….”

Read more

Cognitive Changes, Lifespan, and Healthy Aging

Murman (2015) notes that “cognitive abilities often decline with age,” and structural and functional changes occur in tandem with declining cognitive abilities. The most important changes are “declines in performance on cognitive tasks (which) require one to quickly process or transform information…” which are related to processing speed, working memory, and executive function. 

Read more

Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Pichora-Fuller reports that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is progressive, degenerative, and is the most common form of dementia. She reports for those older than age 70 diagnosed with AD, AD is usually fatal within 10 years. Pichora-Fuller notes that dementia is more common in people with hearing loss, than in those with normal hearing. Indeed, the risk of developing dementia increases dramatically (two to five times greater) for those with hearing loss.

Read more

When to Fit Hearing Aids for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus?

Sereda et al (2015) report the results of their three-round Dephi Review, which explored “clinical consensus” (agreement of 70 percent or greater) of 28 hearing professional panelists in the United Kingdom. One hundred and fifteen (115) statements were evaluated and 58 statements achieved consensus.

Sample of factors that achieved consensus for fitting hearing aids with mild loss and without bothersome tinnitus:

Read more

Characteristics of Children Less Likely to Achieve Open Set WRS Through Cochlear Implants

In general, cochlear implantation is phenomenally successful. That is, when children are identified and implanted early (preferably ages 6 to 12 months), the outcomes of cochlear implantation are typically good to excellent. Geers et al (2008) reported that “the best (CI) outcomes correlated with lower pure-tone averages obtained with their cochlear implant, younger age at implantation and higher nonverbal IQ.

 

Read more

Five Possible Mechanisms to Explain the Relationship Between Hearing and Cognition

Fulton et al (2015) report five mechanisms that may be responsible for the often-reported (i.e., significant, albeit weak) relationship between hearing and cognition. The authors state that “most of the evidence examining the relationship between peripheral hearing and cognitive impairment is correlational and cross-sectional in nature. Thus, the cause-effect direction of the relationship is not clear….” These five mechanisms may be present individually or in tandem, across individuals.

Read more

Alzheimer’s Disease: 2015

The comprehensive 2015 report from the Alzheimer’s Association states that “Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disease and the most common cause of dementia…AD is characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive skills that affects a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. This decline occurs because nerve cells (neurons) in parts of the brain involved in cognitive function have been damaged and no longer function normally.

Read more

Challenges for the Oldest Older Adults

Dubno (2015) summarized three presentations from the special session at the 2014 Hearing Across the Lifespan (HEAL) conference (June 2014) in Como, Italy. Dubno reports that the oldest older adults refers to those 85 years and older. She notes this group is the fastest growing segment of the population and they have complex needs including co-morbidities that impact communication, cognition, use of technology, dexterity, frailty, physical disabilities, and more.

Read more

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

Many people are interested to know the ideal quantity of sleep for adults and children, but there is little guidance available. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) reviewed the scientific literature and also relied on empirical evidence and clinical experience to develop recommendations and guidelines.

Read more