The impact of acquired hearing impairment on intimate relationships: implications for rehabilitation

Audiology. 1993 Nov-Dec;32(6):363-81. doi: 10.3109/00206099309071867.


Hearing disabilities, due to their interactive nature, strongly affect intimate relationships. This paper reviews the literature on this dimension of the experience of hearing impairment. The effects of progressive hearing loss and of the coping process within the couple are examined borrowing concepts from symbolic interaction theory. A summary of the interactive dimensions of the effects of hearing impairment on the couple is drawn from the relevant studies. Specific needs have been identified for each partner in terms of information, support and communication facilitation. Implications are drawn for the audiological rehabilitation of hearing-impaired adults.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Communication Barriers
  • Female
  • Hearing Aids / psychology
  • Hearing Loss / psychology*
  • Hearing Loss / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychosocial Deprivation
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires