Self-Perceived Hearing Status Creates an Unrealized Barrier to Hearing Healthcare Utilization

Prashant Angara, Darren C. Tsang, Michael E. Hoffer, Hillary A. Snapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To examine sociodemographic and audiometric factors associated with hearing aid (HA) uptake in adults with hearing loss (HL), and to investigate the role of self-perceived hearing status on pursuit of hearing treatment. The relationship between self-perceived hearing status and HA adoption has not been reported in a nationally representative sample of United States (US) adults. Study Design: Cross-sectional analysis of nationwide household health survey. Methods: Audiometric and questionnaire data from the 2005 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles were used to examine trends in untreated HL and HA adoption in US adults. Adjusted odds ratios for HA adoption were calculated for individuals with measured HL. Results: Of 5230 respondents, 26.1% had measurable HL, of which only 16.0% correctly self-identified their hearing status, and only 17.7% used an HA. Age, higher education, severe hearing impairments, and recent hearing evaluations, were positively associated with HA adoption. Conclusion: Hearing loss is a global public health concern placing significant economic burden on both the individual and society. Self-reported hearing status is not a reliable indicator for HL, and measured HL is not correlated with increased rates of treatment. Recent hearing evaluation is positively associated with increased rates of treatment. Routine hearing assessment will help to better identify those with HL and improve access to hearing treatment. Level of Evidence: III Laryngoscope, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLaryngoscope
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • access
  • hearing aid
  • hearing healthcare
  • public health.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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