Dual sensory impairment in older age

Julie M. Schneider*, Bamini Gopinath, Catherine M. McMahon, Stephen R. Leeder, Paul Mitchell, Jie Jin Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Hearing and visual impairments are commonly viewed separately in research and service provision, but they often occur together as dual sensory impairment or DSI in older populations. This article examines the frequency and effects of DSI in older age and notes limitations in the evidence. Methods: Search of electronic databases of published papers. Results: DSI diminishes communication and well-being and can cause social isolation, depression, reduced independence, mortality, and cognitive impairment. Discussion: Although intuitively DSI may be expected to have additional impacts over single sensory impairment, research findings are inconclusive. Services and supports required by people with DSI are simply a combination of those required by people with single vision and hearing loss, taking account of the unique communication difficulties posed by DSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1324
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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