The British Journal of Psychiatry
Acquired hearing loss and psychiatric illness: an estimate of prevalence and co-morbidity in a geriatric setting.
M R Eastwood, S L Corbin, M Reed, H Nobbs, H B Kedward


Hearing impairment and mental disorders are common among residents of nursing homes and homes for the aged; however, the relationship between sensory deficit and psychiatric illness has been little investigated in this population. The prevalence of hearing impairment, psychiatric illness, and co-morbidity was investigated in a sample of 102 elderly residents from consecutive admissions to a home for the aged. Examining the coincidence of these disorders showed evidence of an association between hearing loss and paraphrenia, and hearing loss and dysphoric states, but not between hearing and cognitive impairment. The results of this survey provide only suggestive evidence regarding aetiology, but strongly support conjoint assessment of the elderly.