Research abstracts: Findings on dual sensory loss

Title: The effects of single and dual sensory loss on symptoms of depression in the elderly.
Author: Capella-McDonnall, Michele E
Reference: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(9), September 2005, pp.855-861.

Abstract: This study carried out secondary analyses of 2001 National Health Interview Survey data. The participants were 9,832 people aged 55 and older residing in the community in the US. Self-report answers to questions were completed about hearing and vision status, depressive symptoms, health, education level, poverty, social activities, social support, and functional disability (ADL and IADL status). The results found dual sensory loss had a significant effect on depressive symptoms, which was lowered but still significant after controlling for covariates of depression.

The authors concluded that professionals working with elderly people should be aware of the increased risks of depressive symptoms in those with single or dual sensory loss, and should screen for them. If present, rehabilitation for sensory losses may help decrease them.

Title Combined effect of vision and hearing impairment on depression in elderly Chinese.
Author: Chou, Kee-Lee and Chi, Iris
Reference:International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19(9), September 2004, pp.825-832.

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to compare impacts of self-reported hearing and vision loss as well as the effect of double sensory impairment on depression. This article analyses cross-sectional data collected from a representative community sample of 2,003 Chinese elderly people aged 60 or above in Hong Kong. Respondents were interviewed in a face-to-face format and data including vision and hearing impairment, socio-demographic variables, health indicators, family support, and depression were obtained. Logistic regression analyses revealed that visual impairment was significantly related to depression even after age, gender, marital status, education, self-reported health status, the presence of 11 diseases, functional limitation and family support were controlled but hearing loss was not. Hearing impairment did not add to the likelihood of depression where visual impairment was already present. The impact of visual impairment on psychological well-being among elderly Chinese was greater than that of hearing loss.

Title: Survey of need of people with dual sensory loss in Northern Ireland: 2004
Author:  Deafblind UK
Publisher: Killyleagh, Co. Down: Deafblind UK, 2004. 21p.

Abstract: This report summarises the results of a survey of people with acquired dual sensory loss carried out in Northern Ireland in summer 2004. The objectives of the survey were to carry out research into living conditions of people in Northern Ireland with dual sensory impairment and to examine services available in Northern Ireland for people with dual sensory impairment and establish health and social needs they have.

Title: Depression and vision and hearing impairments in later life.
Author: Horowitz, Amy
Reference: Generations, 27(1), Spring 2003, pp.32-38.

Abstract: Examines the extent and nature of the relationship between age-related vision and hearing impairments and depression and discuses the implications for practitioners working with elders who have sensory impairments. The article draws on recent research findings.

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