Background midlife hearing loss is a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia. Addressing comorbid hearing loss and cognitive impairment in services for older adults may offer opportunities to reduce dementia risk. Objective to explore current practice and views amongst UK professionals regarding hearing assessment and care in memory clinics and cognitive assessment and care in hearing aid clinics. Methods national survey study. Between July 2021 and March 2022, we distributed the online survey link via email and via QR codes at conferences to professionals working in National Health Service (NHS) memory services and audiologists working in NHS and private adult audiology services. We present descriptive statistics. Results 135 professionals working in NHS memory services and 156 audiologists (68% NHS, 32% private sector) responded. Of those working in memory services, 79% estimate that >25% of their patients have significant hearing difficulties; 98% think it useful to ask about hearing difficulties and 91% do so; 56% think it useful to perform a hearing test in clinic but only 4% do so. Of audiologists, 36% estimate that >25% of their older adult patients have significant memory problems; 90% think it useful to perform cognitive assessments, but only 4% do so. Main barriers cited are lack of training, time and resources. Conclusions although professionals working in memory and audiology services felt addressing this comorbidity would be useful, current practice varies and does not generally address it. These results inform future research into operational solutions to integrating memory and audiology services.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Age and Ageing following peer review. The version of record 'Rohani Omar et al (2023). Managing comorbid cognitive impairment and hearing loss in older adults: a UK survey of audiology and memory services, Age and Ageing, Volume 52, Issue 5, afad080'. is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afad080
- hearing loss
- older people