Higher social distress and lower psycho-social wellbeing: examining the coping capacity and health of people with hearing impairment

Anthony HOGAN, Susan Brumby, Warwick Williams, Catherine Mercer-Grant

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The objectives of this paper are as follows: (1) propose an explanatory model as to how hearing disability may impact on health and (2) examine the models utility. Methods: Data were collected on the psycho-social wellbeing, disability and physical health of farmers (n = 56) participating in an intervention to manage the social impacts of hearing disability. Two models were proposed and examined using multiple hierarchical linear regression. Model 1 used self-rated quality of life and model 2 used capacity to manage hearing and listening impairments, as dependent variables. Results: The analyses found that physical measures of hearing impairment (audiograms) were not correlated with physical or mental health outcomes. However, in model 1, self-confidence and self-rated ability to manage hearing impairment were most closely associated with reduced quality of life (anxiety and diastolic blood pressure were positively associated with quality of life). In model 2, higher anxiety and reduced self-confidence were associated with decreasing ability to successfully manage ones hearing impairment. Conclusions: The findings support the explanatory model that stress is higher and wellbeing lower when the fit between the persons coping capacity and environmental demands is poor.Implications for RehabilitationThis paper demonstrates that anxiety is associated with coping with the psycho-social aspects of hearing disability.This finding has important implications for the many hearing services, which only provide assessment and devices.To negate anxiety and its long-term impacts, rehabilitation providers need to ensure people with hearing disability have the capacity to manage the psycho-social aspects of communication breakdown.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2070-2075
    Number of pages6
    JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2015


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