Support for hearing loss

Support for hearing loss
Objective: There were two objectives of this current study. (1) To understand the impacts of hearing loss for late-deafened adults and the experiences of support received both from hearing healthcare providers and peers. (2) To understand the types of support needed during and after a cochlear implant. Design: The study used mixed methods. A survey was posted to three cochlear implant social media groups and participants could self-select to participate in a semi-structured interview by leaving their email address. Study sample: Forty-four late-deafened adults who had also received at least one cochlear implant answered the survey and 16 people were interviewed. Results: A key finding was that most late-deafened adults did not have access to support through the progression of deafness. They often felt alone, making it difficult to maintain their sense of self while reconciling with the hearing changes forced on them. When participants had positive role models who had experienced hearing loss, or mentors who had undergone cochlear implantation, it assisted them in navigating their changing hearing status. Thus, improved connection to peers sustained self-esteem and improved coping strategies. Conclusions: The findings suggest hearing healthcare providers need to introduce a mentoring and support structure for connected care.

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