Hearing interventions to prevent dementia

P. Dawes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


Hearing loss is a marker of risk for cognitive decline and dementia. Controlled hearing intervention studies of long-term cognitive outcomes are challenging, and thus the evidence for the impact of hearing interventions is primarily from observational studies and will likely continue to be from studies other than randomised controlled trials. Seven studies of hearing interventions with cognitive outcomes assessed over longer than 3 years are reviewed. Most were of low-to-moderate quality. One cochlear implant study had indeterminate findings. Of six hearing aid studies, three reported a positive impact of hearing aid use while three reported no impact of hearing aid use on cognitive decline or incident cognitive impairment. Further studies are required to elucidate the benefit of hearing interventions on long-term cognitive outcomes. Research should include objectively ascertained hearing data, theoretically motivated cognitive outcomes including dementia subtypes, characterisation, and control for confounds and application of advanced statistical modelling to test causal hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 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.


  • hearing loss
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • hearing aids
  • cochlear implants
  • outcome assessment


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