Understanding Hearing Impairment in Individuals from a Perspective of Social and Emotional Functioning

Prakash Babu Kodali, Anitha CT, Swarajya Kopparty


Purpose: Hearing Impairment is one of the most neglected forms of disability. It accounts for the loss of thousands of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide (WHO, 2005). Developed countries have made some progress in the measuring and management of hearing impairment (HI), but this is still in the initial stages in developing countries such as India. The International Classification of Functioning disability and Health (ICF) has shifted the approach towards a holistic perspective in defining and measuring disability. This paper tries to measure HI from the perspective of social and emotional functioning of individuals.

Method: The sample population consisted of 1160 individuals, selected by systematic random sampling from among those who complied with inclusion criteria. 51.7% of the total respondents were females, and 48.3% were males. The participants were administered a questionnaire (Standardised) and their responses were quantified. The data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.

Results: Prevalence of HI was found more among males than females. 84.6% of the total population had no hearing impairment, whereas 13.7% had mild to moderate impairment, and 1.7% had significant hearing impairment. The Total Impairment score obtained by the individuals was divided into Social Impairment score and Emotional Impairment score. Correlation and Multivariate regression analysis were used. Correlation - Age and Social Dimension Score r= 0.609, p≤0.01, n=1160, R2= 0.370; Age and Emotional Dimension score: r= 0.622, p≤0.01, n=1160, R2= 0.386; Regression- Gender and Social Dimension score b= 0.703, t (1160) = 2.988, p<0.05; Age and Total HI score b= 0.787, t (1160) = 27.096, p< 0.01.

Conclusion: Measuring HI in terms of social and emotional functioning is more holistic and cost-effective, and could be used in resource-poor settings, and for initial screening in large-scale studies.


Hearing; screening; social functioning; emotional functioning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v27i1.504

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