An economic model of adult hearing screening
AbstractPopulations are ageing and older adults make an increasing contribution to society, yet uncorrected hearing loss is common over the age of 50 years, increasing in prevalence and severity with age. The consequences of uncorrected hearing loss can be profound for hearing-impaired individuals and their communication partners but there is evidence that adults commonly delay 10-15 years before seeking help for hearing difficulty (Stephens et al., 1990; Davis et al., 2007) and the most common reason is the belief that their hearing is not bad enough (Ipsos-Mori/RNID survey, 2005). Hearing aids are currently the mainstay of intervention for hearing loss; evidence shows benefit to social functioning and quality of life even for mild hearing loss (Mulrow et al., 1990; Chisolm et al., 2007) and long term outcomes are better when they are obtained early (Davis et al., 2007). Screening adults for hearing loss would expedite intervention and reduce unmet need, leading to improved quality of life for many older adults. Previous work suggests adult hearing screening (AHS) should target adults aged 50-65 years, old enough for prevalence to justify screening but young enough to gain from early intervention...
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