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Internet Access and Use in Adults With Hearing Loss
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Technical Audiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Technical Audiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology in Linköping.
Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN 1438-8871, E-ISSN 1438-8871, Vol. 15, no 5, e91- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND:

The future rehabilitation of adults with hearing loss is likely to involve online tools used by individuals at home. Online tools could also be useful for people who are not seeking professional help for their hearing problems. Hearing impairment is a disability that increases with age, and increased age is still associated with reduced use of the Internet. Therefore, to continue the research on online audiological rehabilitative tools for people with hearing loss, it is important to determine if and to what extent adults with hearing loss use the Internet.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the use of the Internet and email in a group of adults with hearing loss and to investigate if their use of Internet and email differed between genders, among different age groups, and how it compared with the general population in Sweden.

METHODS:

Questionnaires containing multiple-choice questions about Internet access, email use, and educational level were mailed to individuals with hearing loss, who were registered as patients at a hearing aid clinic. Out of the 269 invited participants, 158 returned a completed questionnaire, which was a response rate of 58.7%.

RESULTS:

The results showed that 60% (94/158) of the participants with hearing loss used computers and the Internet. The degree of hearing loss in the group of participants did not explain the level of Internet usage, while factors of age, gender, and education did (P<.001). More men than women used the Internet (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.32-4.91, P<.001). Use of the Internet was higher in the youngest age group (25-64 years) compared to the oldest age group (75-96 years, P=.001). A higher usage of the Internet was observed in the participants with hearing loss, especially the elderly, when compared with the general population of Sweden (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.23-3.17, P=.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that the use of computers and the Internet overall is at least at the same level for people with hearing loss as for the general age-matched population in Sweden, but that this use is even higher in specific age groups. These results are important for the future work in developing and evaluating rehabilitative educational online tools for adults with hearing loss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Journal of Medical Internet Research / JMIR Publications, Inc. , 2013. Vol. 15, no 5, e91- p.
Keyword [en]
hearing loss, hearing rehabilitation, Internet, trends
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-96434DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2221ISI: 000321960900019PubMedID: 23659867OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-96434DiVA: diva2:641813
Note

Funding Agencies|Oticon Foundation||Swedish Hard of Hearing Association (HRF)||

Available from: 2013-08-19 Created: 2013-08-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Internet Interventions for Hearing Loss: Examing rehabilitation, self-report measures and internet use for hearing-aid users
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internet Interventions for Hearing Loss: Examing rehabilitation, self-report measures and internet use for hearing-aid users
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the future, audiological rehabilitation of adults with hearing loss will be more available, personalized and thorough due to the possibilities offered by the internet. By using the internet as a platform it is also possible to perform the process of rehabilitation in a cost-effective way. With tailored online rehabilitation programs containing topics such as communication strategies, hearing tactics and how to handle hearing aids it might be possible to foster behavioral changes that will positively affect hearing aid users.

Four studies were carried out in this thesis. The first study investigated internet usage among adults with hearing loss. In the second study the administration format, online vs. paper- and pencil, of four standardized questionnaires was evaluated. Finally two randomized controlled trials were performed evaluating the efficacy of online rehabilitation programs including professional guidance by an audiologist. The programs lasted over five weeks and were designed for experienced adult hearing-aid users. The effects of the online programs were compared with the effects of a control group.

It can be concluded that the use of computers and the internet overall is at least at the same level for people with hearing loss as for the general age-matched population in Sweden. Furthermore, for three of the four included questionnaires, the participants’ scores remained the same across formats. It is however recommended that the administration format remain consistent across assessment points. Finally, results from the two concluding intervention studies provide preliminary evidence that the internet can be used to deliver education and rehabilitation to experienced hearing aid users who report residual hearing problems and that their problems are reduced by the intervention; however the content and design of the online rehabilitation program requires further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 72 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1392Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 57
Keyword
Counseling, hearing loss, hearing aids, rehabilitation of people with hearing loss, internet, outcome assessment, hearing aid satisfaction
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103824 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-103824 (DOI)978-91-7519-423-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-27, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
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Available from: 2014-01-28 Created: 2014-01-28 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Thorén, ElisabetÖberg, MarieAndersson, GerhardLunner, Thomas

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Technical AudiologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology in LinköpingPsychologyFaculty of Arts and SciencesThe Swedish Institute for Disability ResearchDisability Research
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