Integrating hearing loss into one's life

Qual Health Res. 1998 Mar;8(2):207-23. doi: 10.1177/104973239800800205.


Hearing loss is the single most prevalent chronic physical disability in the United States. Little is known about the experience of integrating hearing loss as a part of one's life, particularly from the perspective of the hearing-impaired person. This phenomenological inquiry explored how adults with onset of hearing loss after acquisition of language integrate the hearing loss into their lives. The author interviewed 32 deafened adults. Using a modification of P. F. Colaizzi's method of data analysis, four distinct themes, each with subthemes, emerged around a core variable labeled as dancing with. These themes were dancing with loss and fear, dancing with fluctuating feelings, dancing with courage amidst change, and dancing with an altered life perspective. This study provides a beginning understanding of how people integrate a hearing loss into their lives and is the first step in developing and implementing appropriate strategies to provide assistance to others experiencing hearing loss.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deafness / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged