Self-reported hearing, vision and quality of life: Older people in New Zealand

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Abstract

Aim:

To establish associations between sensory-related disability and quality of life (QOL).

Methods:

A total of 3817 people aged 75 years and older, including 173 Māori aged 61 years and older, were surveyed. Measures included: sociodemographic and health factors; World Health Organization quality of life (WHOQOL)-BREF for QOL; and self-rated hearing- and vision-related disability.

Results:

Hearing disability was reported by 866 (51%) men and 736 (36%) women. A total of 974 (26% of all, 61% of hearing disabled) used hearing aids. A total of 513 (30%) men and 618 (30%) women reported vision disability. Vision and hearing disability were both independently associated with lower QOL, with hearing difficulty affecting physical and social domains more, and the environmental domain least. Vision difficulty impacted the environmental domain most and the social domain least. QOL impact was higher for those with both hearing and visual disability (631, 17%).

Conclusions:

Hearing and vision disability are associated with poorer QOL.

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