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Assessing online screening tests of health (Goodwin et al., 2022)

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posted on 03.03.2022, 18:25 authored by Maria V. Goodwin, Eef Hogervorst, David MaidmentDavid Maidment
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which validated online screening measures of cognitive impairment, psychosocial well-being, and cardiovascular health are associated with a validated hearing screener in a sample of adults based in the United Kingdom.
Method: Sixty-one adults (43 female; Mage = 44.7 years) participated in a cross-sectional study delivered remotely. Participants completed the hearWHO smartphone application, a digits-in-noise hearing screener, and the Modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-M), a screening tool for cognitive impairment. Psychosocial well-being (social isolation and loneliness) and cardiovascular health were assessed through self-report.
Results: Separate independent analyses of variance, with age, gender, and education as covariates, demonstrated participants who failed the hearWHO screener had poorer scores on the TICS-M, engaged in less physical activity, and reported more sedentary behavior and greater social isolation. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that lower TICS-M scores, having obtained less education, identifying as female, and reporting greater sedentary behavior and social isolation were the strongest predictors of lower hearWHO scores.
Conclusions: The results from this study suggest that poorer hearing, as measured by the hearWHO screener, is independently associated with having worse cognitive function, more time spent being sedentary, and greater social isolation. Thus, this study demonstrates the potential of online screening measures to identify additional health conditions that confer risk to chronic disease as hearing loss manifests. This could help to inform the development of tailored treatment and support to improve an individual’s readiness to seek help for and manage both their general and hearing health.

Supplemental Material S1. Demographic characteristics of the total sample, with comparisons for younger (18–39 years) and older (≥ 40 years) adults.

Goodwin, M. V., Hogervorst, E., & Maidment, D. W. (2022). Test your health at home: Comparing online screening tests of hearing, cognition, and cardiovascular health. American Journal of Audiology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJA-21-00199

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Internet and Audiology 2021.

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