Mental distress and quality of life in the hard of hearing

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Abstract

Objective

This study aims to compare levels of psychological distress and the quality of life in the hard of hearing with levels reported by the signing deaf, and the hearing population.

Method

A total of 373 members of the Hard of Hearing Association completed the brief WHO's Quality of Life, 12-item General Health Questionnaire and Brief Symptom Inventory, and provided details about their initial and current deafness.

Results

The hard of hearing have worse social relationships than the signing deaf, and are disadvantaged relative to the hearing in all areas measured. Quality of life is related to the level of satisfaction with the hearing achieved by hearing aids.

Conclusion

General psychiatrists need to be aware that patients who are hard of hearing may be even more isolated than deaf people in a signing community. Hard of hearing patients with unsatisfactory hearing aids can be greatly assisted by cochlear implants.

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