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Age-related hearing loss in individuals and their caregivers: effects of coping on the quality of life among the dyads

Authors Lazzarotto S, Baumstarck K, Loundou A, Hamidou Z, Aghababian V, Leroy T, Auquier P

Received 13 May 2016

Accepted for publication 14 July 2016

Published 7 November 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2279—2287


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Sébastien Lazzarotto,1,2 Karine Baumstarck,1 Anderson Loundou,1 Zeinab Hamidou,1,3 Valérie Aghababian,1 Tanguy Leroy,1,4 Pascal Auquier1

1EA 3279, Self-Perceived Health Assessment Research Unit, School of Medicine, Aix Marseille Université, 2French Regional Institute for Prevention of Aging, Marseille, 3National Clinical Research Quality of Life in Oncology Platform, Marseille, 4Social Psychology Research Group (GRePS EA 4163), Université Lumière Lyon 2, Bron, France

Objectives: Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) impacts the daily living and quality of life (QoL) of affected individuals and the functioning of family caregivers. In the specific context of voluntary medical checkups, we examined sample dyads (ARHL individual and the caregiver) to determine whether QoL of patients and caregivers is influenced by coping strategies implemented either by themselves or their relatives.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with a descriptive/correlative design performed in a French preventive health center (Regional Institute for Prevention of Aging, Marseille, France) for the beneficiaries of pension funds of private sector employees. The samples included beneficiary–caregiver dyads. The beneficiaries had bilateral (mild to moderately severe) ARHL. Self-reported data were collected as follows: QoL using the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire, coping strategies using the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Scale, and anxiety and mood using visual analog scales.
Results: The final sample comprised 44 beneficiaries and 44 caregivers. The caregiver was the partner of the beneficiary in 73% of cases. The QoL scores of the social dimension were significantly lower for beneficiaries and caregivers compared with French age- and sex-matched controls. Among beneficiaries and caregivers, coping strategies based on problem solving were the most commonly used strategies. The use of positive thinking strategies was associated with higher QoL scores. The more one member of the dyad used an avoidance coping strategy, the more the other member used a positive thinking strategy.
Conclusion: This study emphasizes that QoL of individuals with age-related hearing impairment and their natural caregivers is related to the coping strategies that they use. This finding suggests that targeted interventions should be offered to help individuals who experience emotional difficulties to implement more efficient coping strategies.

Keywords: age-related hearing impairment, caregivers, dyads, quality of life, coping, emotional status

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