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Audiology - Communication Research

On-line version ISSN 2317-6431


CRUZ, Mariana Sodário et al. Hearing aids use among elderly: SABE study - health, well-being and aging survey. Audiol., Commun. Res. [online]. 2013, vol.18, n.2, pp.133-142. ISSN 2317-6431.

PURPOSE: Describe hearing aid use by the elderly population in the city of São Paulo and identify associated factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional, descriptive, quantitative study integrated with the SABE (health, well-being and aging) project developed in 2006. A total of 1.115 individuals aged 65 or over were interviewed. Sample selection occurred in two stages, with replacement and probabilities proportional to the population to complement those aged 75 or over. Structured questionnaires and validated instruments were used. The data were weighted, the Rao-Scott test was used for univariate analysis and backward stepwise logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis, performed on Stata 10® software. RESULTS: Three hundred and seventy-seven subjects (30.4%) were classified as hearing impaired and 10.1% of these reported using hearing aids. To acquire the devices, 78.8% used their own resources and 16.9% acquired them through the Brazilian public health system (SUS). Among non-users of hearing aids, 16.6% reported prior indication; however, 8.6% were unable to adapt to the device and 8.0% could not afford to acquire one. Hearing aid use was associated with lower prevalence of probable dementia. CONCLUSION: The low number of hearing aid users indicates the difficulties elderly people face in acquiring them and/or that the health services face in effectively helping them to adapt. These findings may influence the quality of life of elderly with hearing impairment, given the association with probable dementia revealed by this study.

Keywords : Aging; Dementia; Hearing aids; Hearing loss; Morbidity surveys.

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