Acquired Hearing Loss, Anger, and Emotional Distress: The Mediating Role of Perceived Disability

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The aim of the study was to test whether acquired hearing loss (AHL)–related perceived disability mediates the association between AHL and psychological outcomes, including anger. Two-hundred ninety-seven consecutive outpatients with AHL assessed by pure tone average (PTA) loss completed the following: Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults (HHIA), State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory–2 (STAXI-2), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Diagnostic Criteria for Use in Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), and Social Functioning Questionnaire. In the sample, composed of 44.5% males with a mean age of 53.8 and a mean PTA of 30.7, AHL was associated to perceived hearing handicap, also correlating to all psychological measures except DCPR demoralization. Associations were stronger between the HHIA–Emotional Subscale, STAXI-2 State Anger and Feeling Angry, and BSI-Somatization, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Depression, and Psychoticism. Perceived disability predicted the presence of almost all psychosocial outcomes and confirms to be the most significant target of clinical action.

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