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Background: Hearing loss and cognitive impairment are common problems in older adults; several studies were conducted on the effects of hearing aid use relative to cognitive function in older adults. Most studies only used a verbal questionnaire which could lead to biased results. Therefore, the auditory P300 response from an electrophysiologic test provides an objective measure of central auditory function, including the cognitive process in the brain.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted from July, 2016 to April, 2017 at The Hearing Aid Clinic in Ramathibodi Hospital. Participants were 26 elderly patients with bilateral symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss who were referred for unilateral hearing aid fitting by ENT doctors. The auditory P300 test results and MMSE-Thai scores were recorded before and 2 months after hearing aid fitting.
Results: The P300 waveforms could be recorded from only 21 participants with a mean latency of 374.48 ms and mean amplitude of 6.68 μV. Two months after hearing aids were used, the mean P3 latency was 376.83 ms and the mean amplitude was 8.77 μV. There was a statistically significant difference in the amplitudes of P3 2 months after HA fitting (p=0.004). Moreover, the MMSE-Thai scores were also significantly higher (p=0.000).
Conclusion: The auditory P300 components could be recorded from approximately 80% of the sensorineural hearing loss elderly patients in this study. The auditory P300 results showed an improvement in cognitive ability with higher amplitude, corresponding to an increase in MMSE-Thai scores. Thus, the P300 may be used to evaluate the improvement in cognitive function after using a hearing aid. This outcome can be a guideline in counseling patients who initially rejected hearing aids on the benefits of using the hearing aids.
Published Date: 2019-04-27; Received Date: 2019-03-19