Background: Age-related hearing loss is the third most common reason for disability in the world and has a significant impact on quality of life (QoL) amongst older adults.
Objective: To determine how the QoL assessment in older-person-specific domains differs between older men and women with age-related hearing loss before and after hearing-aid fittings.
Methods: The present study was carried out with 105 hearing-impaired outpatients (aged ≥ 60 years) before and after hearing-aid fittings at the University Hospital Olomouc, Czech Republic. The instrument used was the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Older Adults module (WHOQOL-Old). It was completed before hearing-aid fittings and after the first check-up hearing-aid adjustment. The Wilcoxon paired test multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate changes in the QoL after hearing-aid fittings. The distributions of men a women into three subgroups, improved, unchanged, and worsened in each domain, were compared using Fisher's exact test.
Results: A significant QoL improvement when fitting a hearing-aid in the area of Sensory abilities was confirmed in both men and women (p < 0.001). In Autonomy, a significant improvement was recorded only amongst men (p = 0.010). In Past, present and future activities and Social participation, a significant improvement was only recorded amongst women (p = 0.029; p = 0.001). Significant differences were revealed between men and women in changes for Sensory Abilities (p = 0.019), Social Participation (p = 0.036) and Intimacy (p = 0.002).
Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that there are gender differences in QoL improvement amongst people with age-related hearing loss after hearing-aid fitting.
Keywords: Aged; Gender; Hearing loss; Hearing-aids; Quality of life.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.