Date of Degree

5-2018

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Au.D.

Program

Audiology

Advisor(s)

Carol Silverman

Subject Categories

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Keywords

hearing loss, hearing aids, cognition, amplification, adult

Abstract

The goal of this paper was to systematically review literature in order to investigate whether the use of amplification in the form of hearing aids by older adults positively impacts cognitive status. If the results of this review uncover a positive association between hearing-aid use and cognition, then hearing aids can be recommended as an intervention method for the mitigation of cognitive decline. The eight studies included in this paper were reviewed based on the research design and the cognitive outcome measures employed. Additionally, the secondary measures of health utilized by study investigators were also evaluated. Of the eight studies reviewed, four showed a positive association between amplification and cognition, one showed a negative association between amplification and cognition, and three showed that cognitive status is unchanged by amplification use. Although the studies did not unequivocally support the use of hearing aids as an intervention method for cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss, no evidence in these studies exists to indicate any detrimental effect of amplification use. Thus, audiologists should continue to recommend hearing aids to older adults with hearing loss as they can improve quality of life and also may contribute to cognitive health.

Key Words: “cognition,” “hearing loss,” “amplification,” “hearing aid,” and “adult.

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