Severe-to-profound hearing impairment: demographic data, gender differences and benefits of audiological rehabilitation

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify and report demographic data of patients with severe-to-profound hearing loss, assess participation in audiological rehabilitation and analyze the benefits of various rehabilitation methods.

Materials and methods: Data on 4286 patients with severe-to-profound hearing impairments registered in the Swedish Quality Register of Otorhinolaryngology over a period from 2006–2015 were studied. Demographic data, gender differences, audiological rehabilitation and benefits of the rehabilitation were analyzed.

Results: Group rehabilitation and visits to a hearing rehabilitation educator provided the most benefits in audiological rehabilitation. Only 40.5% of the patients received extended audiological rehabilitation, of which 54.5% were women. A total of 9.5% of patients participated in group rehabilitation, with 59.5% being women. Women also visited technicians, welfare officers, hearing rehabilitation educators, psychologists and physicians and received communication rehabilitation in a group and fit with cochlea implants significantly more often than did men.

Conclusions: The study emphasizes the importance of being given the opportunity to participate in group rehabilitation and meet a hearing rehabilitation educator to experience the benefits of hearing rehabilitation. There is a need to offer extended audiological rehabilitation, especially in terms of gender differences, to provide the same impact for women and men.Implications for Rehabilitation

Significantly more women than men with severe-to-profound hearing impairment receive audiological rehabilitation.

Hearing impairment appears to have a significantly more negative impact on women’s quality of life than men’s.

It is important to offer extended audiological rehabilitation to all patients with severe-to-profound hearing loss to obtain an equal hearing health care regardless of gender.

Significantly more women than men with severe-to-profound hearing impairment receive audiological rehabilitation.

Hearing impairment appears to have a significantly more negative impact on women’s quality of life than men’s.

It is important to offer extended audiological rehabilitation to all patients with severe-to-profound hearing loss to obtain an equal hearing health care regardless of gender.