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Social implications of acquired hearing impairment in adults

Madalena Aparecida Silva Francelin Telma Flores Genaro Motti Ione Morita About the authors

This study aimed at analyzing, by means of a qualitative approach, the implications of acquired deafness in adults with regard to family life, social life and work. Twenty-seven individuals residing in the city of Bauru, State of São Paulo, were selected. All of them had been diagnosed with hearing impairment of sudden onset at the age range of 18 to 60 years and were registered at the Hospital for Craniofacial Anomaly Rehabilitation (HRAC/USP) between January 2000 and February 2005. Sixteen of such individuals were interviewed, and content analysis was used. It was found that, for 37.5% of the subjects, hearing impairment occurred between the ages of 40 and 44 years; 62.5% were males; 62.5% had not completed elementary education; 62,5% belonged to the lower middle class; 75% presented bilateral hearing impairment, 18.75% presented moderate/profundo impairment. Of the 13 individuals who were employed when hearing impairment manifested itself, 30.77% quit their jobs, and 15.38% changed their occupations. The following situations were reported: being on a sick leave from work, resignation from one's job, dismissal by employer, difficulty of acceptance, demands from others, and lack of clarification and knowledge on the part of health care professionals. The results suggest the need for rehabilitation resources, therapeutic support, respect and knowledge alternatives.

Hearing Impairment; Exclusion; Family Relations


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br