By now, most of us are aware that research has confirmed a connection between hearing loss and overall well-being. We certainly don’t have all of the answers yet, but we do know that hearing loss can affect several aspects of general health, from cognition and social /emotional health, to physical welfare.
In fact, Phonak’s ‘Well-Hearing is Well-Being’ initiative has been influential in supporting hearing care providers to implement Family-Centered Care and other holistic measures, into their routine interactions with patients. I have long been a believer that treating the whole person is the best way to treat any illness or disease, and I’m thrilled, that as audiologists, we can also get in on this action!
New research investigating the link between hearing health and general well-being is popping up on a regular basis, and it has become THE hot topic in audiology. Keeping up with all of the latest research can quickly become a daunting prospect, so if you’re asking yourself “Where can I find some of the best and most relevant articles all in one place?”, look no further!
This month, the International Journal of Audiology is releasing a special supplement devoted entirely to hearing loss and well-being. Each article in the supplement addresses a different aspect of the well-hearing/well-being relationship and not only contributes to our overall understanding of the relationship but also helps us to further define our role in each patient’s journey towards better hearing, and, what I always hope for, better health and better life.
A sneak peek at what you’ll find:
- Case illustrations that help clinicians recognize patients’ underlying emotional issues and insights as to how audiologists can support patients and families.1
- Clinical approaches that audiologists can implement (such as including communication partners or providing emotional support) to address the psychosocial impacts of hearing loss with their patients, and how likely both patients and providers feel they are to use and benefit from each of these approaches.2
- How other health factors, including frailty, mental health, and general health, alongside audiological findings, impact hearing related quality of life.3
- Guidance on actualizing Family-Centered Care into practice.4
- The importance of audiologists working with other healthcare providers in addressing hearing loss and how it can impact the delivery of health care for elderly persons.5
- A deeper look into the relationship between hearing loss and well-being in a work environment and how ‘individual aspects’, the ‘work environment’, and the ‘work organization’ interact to affect social-emotional and physical health.6
- A systematic review of over 60 articles examining associations between hearing loss, fatigue, activity levels, and well-being.7
- A scoping review on the association between hearing loss and social isolation and loneliness.⁸
There’s no question that the role of hearing in overall health and well-being has been promoted in recent years. More and more research is becoming available, and if you want a perceptive and informed discussion on the topic, take some time to check out the latest issue of IJA!
To access this this special edition of IJA, click here.
- Clark, John, English, Kristina & Montano, Joseph. (2020). Heightening our vigilance towards patient well-being. International Journal of Audiology; 60. 1-8.
- Bennett, R.J,, Barr. C., Cortis, A., Eikelboom, R.H., Ferguson, M., Gerace, D., Heffernan, E., Hickson, L., van Leeuwen, L., Montano, J., Preminger, J.E., Pronk, M., Saunders, G.H., Singh, G., Timmer, B.H.B., Weinstein, B. & Bellekom, S. (2021). Audiological approaches to address the psychosocial needs of adults with hearing loss: perceived benefit and likelihood of use. International Journal of Audiology; 60(sup2):12-19.
- Nuesse T, Schlueter A, Lemke U. & Holube, I. (2021). Self-reported hearing handicap in adults aged 55 to 81 years is modulated by hearing abilities, frailty, mental health, and willingness to use hearing aids. International Journal of Audiology; 60(sup2): 71-79.
- Ekberg, K., Timmer, B., Schuetz, S. & Hickson, L. (2021). Use of the Behaviour Change Wheel to design an intervention to improve the implementation of family-centred care in adult audiology services. International Journal of Audiology;60 (sup2):20-29.
- Wallhagen, M.I., Strawbridge, W.J. & Tremblay, K. (2021) Leveraging the age friendly healthcare system initiative to achieve comprehensive, hearing healthcare across the spectrum of healthcare settings: an interprofessional perspective, International Journal of Audiology; 60:sup2, 80-85.
- Granberg, S. & Gustafsson, J. (2021). Key findings about hearing loss in the working-life: a scoping review from a well-being perspective, International Journal of Audiology; 60:sup2, 60-70.
- Holman, J.A., Hornsby, B.W.Y., Bess, F.H. & Naylor, G. (2021) Can listening-related fatigue influence well-being? Examining associations between hearing loss, fatigue, activity levels and well-being, International Journal of Audiology; 60:sup2, 47-59.
- Bott, A. & Saunders, G. (2021) A scoping review of studies investigating hearing loss, social isolation and/or loneliness in adults, International Journal of Audiology; 60:sup2, 30-46.