Publications Related to Lab Projects
Hearing Loss- and Hearing Aid-Related Stigma: Perceptions of Women with Age-Normal Hearing
Susan F. Erler & Dean C. Garstecki, American Journal of Audiology, 2002. Impaired hearing and the use of hearing aids are often perceived negatively. Many adults deny hearing loss and reject amplification, in part due to such stigma. Women and men differ in how they age and adjust to impaired hearing, yet little is known specifically about women's perceptions of stigma related to hearing loss and hearing aid use. The present study examined the degree of stigma associated with hearing loss and hearing aid use among 191 women in three age groups (35-45 years, 55-65 years, and 75-85 years) with hearing within normal limits based on age-related norms. Using pairs of descriptors (i.e., semantic differentials), participants completed statements related to hearing loss and hearing aid use. Results suggest that negative perceptions associated with hearing loss and hearing aid use are affected by age. Younger women perceive greater stigma than older women. Less stigma is associated with hearing aid use than hearing loss, suggesting a positive effect of hearing loss management.
Personal and Social Conditions Potentially Influencing Women's Hearing Loss Management
Dean C. Garstecki & Susan F. Erler, American Journal of Audiology, 10, 78-90, 2001. The purpose of this investigation is to examine personal and social conditions affecting women at selected stages of the adult lifecourse that may influence hearing loss management. In all, 191 women in three age groups, ranging from 45 to 85 years of age, participated. None reported any hearing problems. Results revealed that while performance for some variables is poorer among older women (i.e., hearing thresholds, central auditory processing, and ego strength), older women demonstrate strengths in other areas (i.e., satisfaction with social support). Age-specific socio-demographic burdens that may interfere with hearing loss management, such as employment and caregiving demands among younger women, were noted. This database of personality and social information will allow comparison with women and men with impaired hearing.
Older Adult Performance on the Communication Profile for the Hearing Impaired: Gender Difference
Dean C. Garstecki & Susan F. Erler, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 42, 785-796, 1999. Gender difference in auditory function with age is well documented. However, little is known about the influence of interacting sensory, psycho-social, and economic variables on adjustment to hearing loss. Adjustment to acquired, mild-to-moderate hearing loss by advantaged older women and men was examined using the Communication Profile for the Hearing Impaired (CPHI; Demorest & Erdman, 1987). Correlational analyses revealed relationships between scales to be similar for women and men. Controlling for socio-demographic and hearing variables, group responses for the majority of CPHI scales did not differ significantly. Six scales differed significantly. When compared to men, women assigned greater importance to effective social communication, were more likely to use nonverbal communication strategies, reported greater anger and stress, and reported greater problem awareness and less denial associated with hearing loss. The CPHI is a useful tool for specifying parameters of perceived communication handicap for both older men and women. Findings underscore the need to consider gender-specific self-assessment of communication and personal adjustment in clinical management of older adults with age-related hearing loss.
Hearing Loss, Control, and Demographic Factors Influencing Hearing Aid Use Among Older Adults
Dean C. Garstecki & Susan F. Erler, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41, 527-537, 1998. Preference for non-use of hearing aids among older adults who are candidates for amplification remains to be explained. Clinical studies have examined the contribution of consumer attitudes, behaviors, and life circumstances to this phenomenon. The present study extends the interests of earlier investigators in that it examines psychological control tendencies in combination with hearing loss and demographic variables among older adults who elected to accept (adherents) or ignore (nonadherents) advice from hearing professionals to acquire and use hearing aids. One hundred thirty-one individuals participated by completing measures of hearing, hearing handicap, psychological control, depression, and ego strength. Participants were asked to provide demographic information and personal opinions regarding hearing aid use. Adherence group and gender differences were noted on measures of hearing sensitivity, psychological control, and demographic factors. Female adherents demonstrated greater hearing loss and poorer word recognition ability but less hearing handicap, higher internal locus of control, higher ego strength, and fewer depressive tendencies than female nonadherents. They reported demographic advantages. Female adherents assumed responsibility for effective communication. Although male adherents and nonadherents did not differ significantly demographically, male adherents were more accepting of their hearing loss, took responsibility for communication problems, and found hearing aids less stigmatizing. Adherence with professional advice to acquire and use hearing aids appears to be influenced by a combination of hearing loss, psychological control, and demographic factors.
Older Adults: Hearing Handicap and Hearing Aid Management
Dean C. Garstecki, American Journal of Audiology, 5, 25-34. 1996. The purpose of this study was to examine self-perceived hearing handicap in older adult hearing aid users and to identify factors that influenced their decisions to acquire and use amplification. Participants were 131 adults with impaired hearing, 65 years of age or older, 60 of whom used hearing aids (compliers) and 71 who chose not to comply with recommendations to use hearing aids (noncompliers). Based on responses to the Communication Profile for the Hearing Impaired (CPHI; Demorest & Erdman, 1987), compliers have fewer problems communicating in a variety of settings, are more likely to use verbal strategies to repair communication problems, and are more accepting of their hearing loss. In response to the Hearing Management Survey, compliers in comparison to noncompliers assign less importance to the cost of amplification, negative reactions to hearing aids, aided appearance, and hearing aid and dispenser factors. Compliers completed the Profile for Hearing Aid Performance (PHAP; Cox & Gilmore, 1990). Results revealed fewer communication problems while using amplification than a comparison group ranging in age from 30 to 90 years. Overall, results suggest that successful hearing aid users demonstrate both a communicative and social-emotional advantage over adults who choose not to comply with recommendations to use amplification.
Older Adult Performance on the Communication Profile for the Hearing Impaired
Dean C. Garstecki & Susan F. Erler, Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39, 28-42, 1996. The Communication Profile for the Hearing Impaired (CPHI; Demorest & Erdman, 1987) is a self-assessment inventory that was developed on a clinical population that included predominantly male, active-duty military personnel (M = 39.5 years). They typically demonstrated bilateral, noise-induced, high-frequency, sensorineural hearing loss. The present study examined CPHI data obtained form approximately equal numbers of advantaged older men and women (N = 301; M = 75 years) with acquired, mild-moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Comparisons of hearing handicap in older adults and generally younger members of the military group reveal less self-assessed hearing handicap among older adults. Performance differences relate to age, personality, lifestyle, and other factors. Older adults report they are most effective communicating in controllable settings with familiar partners; prefer to manage difficult communication settings inobtrusively (i.e., with nonverbal strategies); and demonstrate a generally more positive adjustment to hearing loss than the younger, military population. Results suggest that hearing loss may be accepted as a natural consequence of aging.
Garstecki, D.C., & Erler, S.F. (2000). Hearing care providers and individuals with impaired hearing: Continuing and new relationships in the new millennium. In J.G. Alpiner & P. McCarthy (Eds.), Rehabilitative Audiology: Children and adults. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins
Garstecki, D.C., & Erler, S.F. (1998). Hearing and aging. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 14, 2, 1-17
Garstecki, D.C., & Erler, S.F. (1997). Hearing loss management in children and adults. In S.E. Gerber & G.T. Mencher (Eds.), Audiology and Auditory Dysfunction. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon
Garstecki, D.C., & Erler, S.F. (1997). Hearing status and aging. In B.B. Shadden & M.A. Toner (Eds.), Aging and Communication: For Clinicians by Clinicians. Austin: Pro-Ed
Garstecki, D.C., & Erler, S.F. (1995). Older women and hearing, American Journal of Audiology, 4, 41-46