We are so happy that another paper was just published in the American Journal of Audiology on the “Assessment of Hearing Health Care Needs in Rural West Central and South Alabama” by Marcia Hay-McCutcheon, Emma Brothers of the Hear Here Alabama project and Rebecca S. Allen of the Alabama Research Institute on Aging.
What are we talking about?
Purpose: Hearing loss has become a significant public health concern because of its association with physical health, cognition, and emotional well-being. Age-related hearing loss is the third leading cause of global years lived with disability after lower back pain and migraine. Among other sensory disorders, hearing loss is ranked first. To help mitigate these health concerns, access to affordable hearing health care across rural and urban communities will be necessary.
Method: For this study, the needs of rural communities and their residents with hearing loss were explored. Individual interviews and focus group discussions with 26 adults with hearing loss, 14 friends and family of those with hearing loss, and 25 community members who worked and lived in rural communities were conducted.
Results: Collectively, four themes emerged from qualitative analysis of the comments from all three groups, including Communication and Other Related Hearing Loss Issues, Social and Emotional Issues, Dealing with Hearing Loss, and Addressing Hearing Loss in the Community. Factors associated with the themes were mapped onto the Meikirch Model of Health to determine potential areas of intervention within the individual, society, and environment components of the model.
Conclusion: Future care mitigating health concerns for adults with hearing loss living in rural communities will involve interprofessional collaboration and increase access to hearing health care.
Get the full article here: https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/2023_AJA-22-00177