Long-term subjective loneliness in adults after hearing loss treatment

Jeremy Applebaum, Matthew Hoyer, Joshua Francis Betz, Frank Lin, Adele Goman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: While hearing loss is associated with loneliness, the long term impact of hearing loss interventions remains unknown. We investigated levels of loneliness in adults at baseline, 6-months, 1-year and 5-years after receiving a hearing aid (HA) or cochlear implant (CI). Design: In this 5-year follow-up to the Studying Multiple Outcomes after Aural Rehabilitative Treatment study, participants completed the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale at baseline, 6-months, 1-year, and 5-year time points. Generalized estimating equations modeled the population average UCLA score over time. Study Sample: Analytic cohort of 115 participants (74% of original 156) 50 years or older who received a HA or CI at baseline and completed at least one follow up visit. Results: Loneliness scores were not different at 5 years versus baseline for HA users. CI users showed significantly reduced loneliness at 6-months and 1-year from baseline and with no significant difference at 5 years. Conclusion: Over 5 years, we observed no increase in loneliness from baseline in a cohort of adults receiving HAs and CIs. Short-term reduction in loneliness in CI users was demonstrated. Future randomized trials are needed to definitively assess the impact of treated versus untreated hearing loss on loneliness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • cochlear implant
  • hearing aid
  • Hearing loss
  • loneliness
  • UCLA Loneliness Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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