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Age-Related Hearing Loss Causes Clinical Communication Breakdown

Over the past forty years the greatest joy of our business is providing the gift of better hearing. Difficulty hearing is one of the most common conditions among older adults. Many people make lifestyle adjustments rather than seek help. With the new advances in technology now is an ideal time to consider an evaluation. At Hopco Hearing Center, we have made a commitment to professional service, quality products and low prices. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Choice - There are over 200 manufacturers we can service. Everyone's hearing loss and lifestyle is different... So we offer a wide variety.

Follow-up - All aids come with a 60 day trial... We see you weekly during this time to assure your adjustments and the aids adjustment are satisfactory.

Continued Education - Every year we attend conventions and manufacturer seminars to keep up the latest fitting news and technology. We are members of nationally accredited American Speech and Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiologists and the International Hearing Society.

It was not uncommon for older adults to report mishearing a physician or nurse in a primary care or hospital setting, according to a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

The prevalence of medical errors is higher among older patients. Failures in clinical communication are considered to be the leading cause of medical errors. A previous study reported that improved communication between the medical teams and families could have prevented 36 percent of medical errors. Colm M. P. O'Tuathaigh, B.A., Ph.D., of University College Cork, Cork, Ireland and colleagues conducted an analysis of interview data collected in 100 adults 60 years and older to examine communication breakdown in hospital and primary care settings among adults reporting hearing loss.

Of these adults, 57 reported some degree of hearing loss; 26 used a hearing aid device. Of the 100 adults, 43 reported having misheard a physician, nurse or both in a primary care or hospital setting. When asked to elaborate on the context of mishearing in a clinical setting, the scenarios included (in descending order of citation frequency): general mishearing, consultation content, physician-patient or nurse-patient communication breakdown, hospital setting and use of language.

"This qualitative analysis confirms that age-related hearing loss has a negative effect on clinical communication across both hospital and primary care clinical settings," the authors write. "We recommend that content-related and setting-related factors identified as barriers to communication in adults with hearing impairment be incorporated within a patient-centered approach to clinical communication with this patient population."