Proposal for a Hearing/Cognitive Rehabilitation Program in Elderly First Users of Hearing Aids: A Case Study
Introduction: Hearing loss due to aging involves cognitive, psychosocial, and physiological changes in older adults.
Objective: The objective of this study is to describe and apply an auditory/cognitive and rehabilitation program for elderly first hearing aid users.
Method: Case studies, descriptive and exploratory of six participants with bilaterally sensorineural, mild-to-moderate degree, hearing loss were retrospectively studied. All were first-time, hearing aid users. Cognitive/auditory training was conducted individually, in four sessions of 50 minutes each. Following activities were emphasized: evocation, attention and selective attention, auditory and visual synthesis/analysis, rhyme, rhythm, comprehension, logical reasoning, and memory. Participants were distributed in two groups: one group with competitive noise (GMCR) and the other group without the competitive noise (GMSR). All participants underwent sentence-in-noise test administered pre- and post- training and responded to the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Elderly (HHIE), both times.
Results: In GMCR group (n = 3), two participants showed improvement in speech-in-noise test (on Speech Recognition Threshold - SRT and on Sentence Recognition Index - SRI, silence and in noise) and one participant showed improvement just in SRI; there was largest decrease of errors in repetition of sentences in silence than in noise. In GMSR group (n = 3), two participants showed improvement in the with decreased loudness and improved SRI-in-noise test; however, still remained the same number of errors in both groups. Both groups showed lower handicap for the HHIE.
Conclusion: All participants showed improvement in auditory handicap, but GMCR presented a greater benefit to the hearing aid users than GMSR.