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Sustainable employability of teachers with hearing loss

posted on 22.11.2021, 20:40 authored by Arnold G. Schriemer, Corné A. M. Roelen, Femke I. Abma, Willem van Rhenen, Jac J. L. van der Klink, Ute Bültmann

In many countries the retirement age is rising. Consequently, age-related hearing loss is an increasing occupational health problem. This study examined the association between hearing loss and sustainable employability of teachers.

For this cross-sectional study a survey and an online hearing screening test were used. Sustainable employability was measured with the Capability Set for Work Questionnaire (CSWQ), examining seven work values. CSWQ-scores of teachers with poor, insufficient, and good hearing were investigated with ordinal regression analyses. Work values and discrepancies between the importance and achievement of the values were examined by chi-square tests.

Dutch teachers (N = 737) of whom 146 (20%) had insufficient and 86 (12%) poor hearing.

Teachers with insufficient (OR = 0.64; 95% CI 0.46–0.89) and poor (OR = 0.55; 95% CI 0.36–0.83) hearing had lower CSWQ-scores compared with good hearing teachers. Adjustment for covariates, in particular for self-rated health, attenuated the associations. Compared with good hearing teachers, teachers with poor hearing reported more discrepancies in using their knowledge and skills and setting their own goals at work.

Hearing loss was negatively associated with sustainable employability of teachers. This emphasises the importance of assessing the hearing status of teachers.