This paper examines communication and health issues associated with hearing difficulties reported in a population-based study of older people. One thousand (1000) randomly selected people aged 65 years and over participated in a cross-sectional survey of the health status of older people. Hearing loss was reported by 30% of respondents, a considerably lower percentage than has been reported by other population-based studies. Hearing aid usage, although low, was more typical of expected population rates at 14.8%. Hearing aid use was associated with increasing age and self-reported difficulties communicating one-to-one and in groups. Compared to people reporting good to excellent hearing, people with fair to poor hearing reported poorer general health, suggesting a possible threshold effect between health and hearing impairment. Further research is required to identify the appropriate mix of hearing aids and services required for this population and to examine the thesis of a threshold effect in hearing disability and health status.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|