Hearing Loss, Hearing Handicap, and Functional Health Status between African American and Caucasian American Seniors
07 August 2020 (online)
This investigation examined the relations among hearing loss, handicap perception, and functional health status of 152 African American and Caucasian American seniors ranging in age from 60 to 89 years. Subjective measures were obtained from self-report scores on the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE), the Medical Outcomes Study 36-ltem Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and demographic profiles. Results indicated the following: (1) both subject groups exhibited nearly identical degrees of sensorineural hearing loss consistent with presbyacusis; (2) African American seniors reported significantly lower levels of completed education than did Caucasian American seniors; (3) differences between groups in self-report scores of hearing handicap (HHIE) were not statistically significant; (4) differences across groups in self-report scores of functional health status (SF-36) were not statistically significant; and (5) increasing levels of hearing loss produced significantly higher HHIE scores and significantly lower SF-36 scores in each group. These findings are discussed.