Assessing and managing concurrent hearing, vision and cognitive impairments in older people: an international perspective from healthcare professionals

Iracema Leroi, Ines Himmelsbach, Lucas Wolski, Jenna Littlejohn, Francine Jury, Angela Parker, Anna Pavlina Charalambous, Piers Dawes, Fofi Constantinidou, Chryssoula Thodi, SENSE-Cog Expert Reference Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
there is a significant gap in the understanding, assessment and management of people with dementia and concurrent hearing and vision impairments.

Objective
from the perspective of professionals in dementia, hearing and vision care, we aimed to: (1) explore the perceptions of gaps in assessment and service provision in ageing-related hearing, vision and cognitive impairment; (2) consider potential solutions regarding this overlap and (3) ascertain the attitudes, awareness and practice, with a view to implementing change.

Methods
our two-part investigation with hearing, vision, and dementia care professionals involved: (1) an in-depth, interdisciplinary, international Expert Reference Group (ERG; n = 17) and (2) a wide-scale knowledge, attitudes and practice survey (n = 653). The ERG involved consensus discussions around prototypic clinical vignettes drawn from a memory centre, an audiology clinic, and an optometry clinic, analysed using an applied content approach.

Results
the ERG revealed several gaps in assessment and service provision, including a lack of validated assessment tools for concurrent impairments, poor interdisciplinary communication and care pathways, and a lack of evidence-based interventions. Consensus centred on the need for flexible, individualised, patient-centred solutions, using an interdisciplinary approach. The survey data validated these findings, highlighting the need for clear guidelines for assessing and managing concurrent impairments.

Conclusions
this is the first international study exploring professionals’ views of the assessment and care of individuals with age-related hearing, vision and hearing impairment. The findings will inform the adaptation of assessments, the development of supportive interventions, and the new provision of services.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafy183
Pages (from-to)580–587
Number of pages8
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • dementia
  • hearing
  • vision
  • expert reference group
  • cognitive impairment
  • older people

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