Main content

Home

Menu

Loading wiki pages...

View
Wiki Version:
There is a growing body of evidence showing that hearing loss in older adults is independently associated with developing non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. Non-communicable diseases are the main cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Interventions that increase physical activity can reduce non-communicable disease risk. However, older adults living with hearing loss are more likely to be sedentary, suggesting that effective intervention strategies are needed that will increase physical activity in this population. We are currently undertaking several projects assessing the associations between hearing loss, non-communicable disease, and physical activity. 1. In an online survey of 389 adults (≥18 years) with and without self-reported hearing difficulties, we found that individuals with hearing difficulties were twice as likely to report memory problems and were less likely to participate in sport compared to those with no difficulties. A further project using behavioural measures administered online is now underway that will supplement these findings. 2. In prospectively registered systematic review assessing physical activity interventions in adults with hearing loss, only two studies met eligibility criteria. In both studies, functional fitness significantly improved relative to controls. The evidence was judged poor quality and subject to bias due to limitations in study design, suggesting that further, high-quality evidence is needed. 3. Using semi-structured interviews, we are assessing the barriers and facilitators to physical activity in older adults with hearing loss underpinned by the COM-B model. Preliminary findings suggest that live, online exercise classes might be preferable, as they eliminate hearing difficulties experienced during in-person sessions. The next step in our research will be to develop a digital fitness platform following a user-centric design approach. Our ultimate vision is to establish a long-term sustainable solution that will improve physical activity in older adults with hearing loss so they can live longer, healthier lives.