Jasenka Broz FrajtagUniversity Hospital Center Zagreb, Croatia
Title: Communication problems and quality of life people with hearing loss
Hearing loss is the common problem in all ages and represents a significant medical-social problem. Communication skills and quality of life in people with hearing impairment affect their social and emotional disabilities.
Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate communication skills and quality of life in people with hearing impairment who regularly control hearing at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery University Hospital Center Zagreb.
Methods: The study included 50 patients with hearing loss at the age of 25-55 years who came to regular hearing control at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery University Hospital Center Zagreb. The general data comprised medical history review, existing medical records and results of the diagnostic procedures, possible cause of hearing damage, time of the damage, duration of impairment, mode of communication in the family, environment, the quality of life for each subject. For evaluation of social and emotional difficulties of people with hearing impairments we used HHIa questionnaire and for assessing the quality of life SF36 questionnaire.
Results: Most of the patients had hearing loss in both ears, which was classified as moderate hearing loss. Testing distinction of words frequency and intensity balanced at standard rate showed that most patients understand the words used in everyday communication. Self-assessment of quality of life related to health is the worst in the segment that reflect the vitality, mental health and general health perception. HHIa questionnaire and the social and emotional domain differs significantly individual auditory threshold levels in all of the observed frequencies and in both ears.
Conclusion: Difficulties in communication may result in deviations in the emotional and social development and can have a significant impact on the quality of life of every person. Regular control of hearing and timely diagnosis contribute to improvement of speech understanding and therefore better functioning in everyday life as a successful factor in resolving further emotional, social and psychological conditions.
Keywords: hearing loss, speech understanding, quality of life
Jasenka Broz Frajtag is a professor of speech pathologist in University Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb, department of otorhinolaringology, Center for Audiology and Vestibulology in Croatia, Master of Public health in Medical school Public Health. She has participated as a lecture in many world Congresses in America ( Florida, Las Vegas), speak presenter on International Conference in Dubai, in Europe (Amsterdam, Harrogate, Budimpešta, Lisabon, Dublin, Maribor, Cappadocia ). She was organizer of small symposia related to hearing impairments in Polyclinic Sinteza, also co-organizer of a continuing medical education courses I category in Croatia and collaborated with many experts throughout her scientific career especcially with professors in School of Public Health Andrija Štampar. Currently main research interest is diagnostic, rehabilitation patients with hearing aids, cochlear implants and neurofeedback effects of COVID-19 on auditory pathways in children and adults. She has many publications and has delivered talks in international conferences.