Hearing Loss Treatment in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review Purpose The purpose of this systematic review was to assess studies of treating hearing loss in older adults with cognitive impairment. Of interest to this review is identifying clinical adaptations that may be used to tailor hearing loss treatment to older adults with cognitive impairment in order to better serve ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   October 05, 2018
Hearing Loss Treatment in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sara K. Mamo
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Nicholas S. Reed
    Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health, Baltimore, MD
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
  • Carrie Price
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Dona Occhipinti
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Alexandra Pletnikova
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Frank R. Lin
    Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health, Baltimore, MD
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
  • Esther S. Oh
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Sara K. Mamo: smamo@umass.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Daniel Fogerty
    Editor: Daniel Fogerty×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   October 05, 2018
Hearing Loss Treatment in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-18-0077
History: Received March 7, 2018 , Revised May 17, 2018 , Accepted June 6, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-18-0077
History: Received March 7, 2018; Revised May 17, 2018; Accepted June 6, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this systematic review was to assess studies of treating hearing loss in older adults with cognitive impairment. Of interest to this review is identifying clinical adaptations that may be used to tailor hearing loss treatment to older adults with cognitive impairment in order to better serve this vulnerable population.

Method A systematic search with controlled vocabulary and key word terms was applied to PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. Search concepts included terms related to hearing loss and cognitive impairment. The overall search resulted in 4,945 unique references, 50 of which were eligible for full-text review and 13 of which were included in the final review. Included manuscripts were categorized according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's levels of evidence and the National Institutes of Health Quality Assessment Tools.

Results Only 1 study implemented a randomized controlled trial design to assess cognitive function and behavioral symptoms after treatment with hearing aids. Other quasiexperimental studies evaluated dementia-related symptoms and/or auditory function after treating hearing loss in pre/post research designs. Finally, evidence from case studies suggested that hearing loss treatment is feasible, reduces stressful communication for caregivers, and improves dementia-related behavior problems.

Conclusion Based on the systematic review, evidence suggests that treating hearing loss in persons with cognitive impairment can have benefits to communication and quality of life. Because of the quasi- and nonexperimental nature of most of the evidence found in this review, further studies are necessary to understand the effect of treatment in the context of a variable and progressive disease.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this work was provided by the National Institutes of Health (K23AG043504 and R01AG057725; E. S. O.), the Roberts Fund (E. S. O.), and the Eleanor Schwartz Charitable Foundation (F. R. L.). We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of Faradia Kernizan in the initial screening of titles/abstracts.
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