Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disability, deafness often go hand-in-hand

Date:
August 26, 2014
Source:
University of Sunderland
Summary:
At least forty per cent of UK people with learning disabilities are suffering from hearing loss, but new research shows they are unlikely to be diagnosed. To research hearing loss in people with learning disabilities, one expert focuses on the current issues people with learning disabilities (PWLD) are facing and why they are left undiagnosed in the long-term.

At least forty per cent of UK people with learning disabilities are suffering from hearing loss, but new research shows they are unlikely to be diagnosed.

Related Articles


The research hearing loss in people with learning disabilities, by Lynzee McShea, who is studying a professional doctorate at the University of Sunderland, focuses on the current issues people with learning disabilities (PWLD) are facing and why they are left undiagnosed in the long-term.

The report, published in the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, says PWLD are more likely to have hearing loss than the general population but are less likely to have this diagnosed and managed with hearing aids. This is mainly because hearing loss diagnosis relies on self-referral, which is an initial barrier for PWLD, who may not have the awareness that they have a hearing loss, or the communication skills to alert others to this.

However, initial referral is just one small part of the process. Barriers can also be found during the hearing assessment and in after care, following hearing aid fitting.

Carers and support workers also need to receive a better education because those with learning disabilities often rely on them for detection and management of hearing loss, the report urges.

Lynzee McShea, a senior clinical scientist in audiology at Sunderland Royal Hospital, claims more than 90 per cent of people with learning disabilities she has assessed have been diagnosed with hearing loss, despite fewer than 10 per cent of carers having any concerns regarding hearing prior to the consultation.

Lynzee, said: "Healthcare professionals rely on family carers and paid support workers to detect hearing problems, support the individual to attend an assessment and to then ensure consistent hearing aid use and aftercare. This is a big ask and our research suggests most carers and support workers do not yet have the necessary skills to do this optimally."

The University of Sunderland and Lynzee are now working with support workers to design training programmes to increase their knowledge of hearing loss and raise awareness of the benefit hearing aids can bring.

Lynzee added: "Better hearing can improve the quality of life significantly and we have powerful evidence of the difference hearing aids can make in the lives of individuals with learning disabilities. The next phase of the research involves working in collaboration with support workers, using their ideas and feedback, to design a training programme that enhances their knowledge and allows them to make a difference in their working practice."

However, even if a carer does suspect the possibility of hearing loss, barriers remain because hearing loss is not seen as a priority by GPs compared to other health problems. The report also says there are often misconceptions that people with learning disabilities cannot have their hearing tested or will not tolerate hearing aids. With at least 40 per cent of PWLD thought to have a hearing loss, this equates to hundreds of thousands of individuals in the UK with unmet needs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sunderland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Sunderland. "Disability, deafness often go hand-in-hand." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826100721.htm>.
University of Sunderland. (2014, August 26). Disability, deafness often go hand-in-hand. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826100721.htm
University of Sunderland. "Disability, deafness often go hand-in-hand." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826100721.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins