J Audiol Otol.  2020 Jan;24(1):40-47. 10.7874/jao.2019.00094.

Approaching Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Model for Elderly with Dementia Who are Suspected to Have Hearing Impairment in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory of Hearing and Technology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 2Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 3Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea

Abstract

Because the psychophysical symptoms of hearing loss and dementia in the elderly are very similar, untrained healthcare professionals in dementia facilities can easily overlook a severity of hearing loss in their patients. The present study identifies their knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) on hearing loss using a survey whether they may help hearing problem of the patients with dementia. A total of 29 health-care professionals responded to the KAP survey. Also, 2 family members participated. The results showed that most of the nurses and caregivers in elderly medical welfare facilities who worked with dementia patients did not have knowledge of their hearing loss. Even the facility managers did not know how to conduct hearing tests for their patients although they did recognize that some of their patients had a hearing loss. Eventually, actual practice was not possible at this moment by the professionals. However, our respondents did have a positive attitude toward screening for hearing loss and help their patients with dementia wear hearing aids if a clinical guideline was provided. We suggest to develop clear and precise clinical guidelines of the hearing screening test for the dementia patients due to the interrelationship between dementia and hearing loss. When these guidelines apply to elderly residents in a medical welfare facility, early diagnosis and treatment of their sensory loss will help alleviate their dementia as well.

Keyword

Dementia; Hearing loss; KAP survey; Healthcare professional; Elderly medical welfare facility
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