Swanepoel DW et al, J Telemed Telecare, 16(2)
Hearing loss is the most prevalent chronic disability and a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Its effects are far-reaching and can lead to severely restricted developmental outcomes for children and limited vocational prospects for adults. The benefits of intervention are dramatic and can significantly improve developmental outcomes, especially in infants identified early. Hearing health-care services in developing regions such as sub-Saharan Africa are however severely limited, leaving affected individuals without access to secondary and tertiary intervention.
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Swanepoel DW and Hall JW, Telemedicine and e-Health, 16(2)
Hearing loss is a pervasive global healthcare concern with an estimated 10% of the global population affected to a mild or greater degree. In the absence of appropriate diagnosis and intervention it can become a lifelong disability with serious consequences on the quality of life and societal integration and participation of the affected persons. Unfortunately, there is a major dearth of hearing healthcare services globally, which highlights the possible role of telehealth in penetrating the underserved communities. This study systematically reviews peer-reviewed publications on audiology-related telehealth services and patient/clinician perceptions regarding their use. Several databases were sourced (Medline, SCOPUS, and CHINAL) using different search strategies for optimal coverage.
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Swanepoel, De Wet et al, International Journal of Audiology, 49(3)
Permanent hearing loss is a leading global health care burden, with 1 in 10 people affected to a mild or greater degree. A shortage of trained healthcare professionals and associated infrastructure and resource limitations mean that hearing health services are unavailable to the majority of the world population. Utilizing information and communication technology in hearing health care, or tele-audiology, combined with automation offer unique opportunities for improved clinical care, widespread access to services, and more cost-effective and sustainable hearing health care. Tele-audiology demonstrates significant potential in areas such as education and training of hearing health care professionals, paraprofessionals, parents, and adults with hearing disorders; screening for auditory disorders; diagnosis of hearing loss; and intervention services.
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Halpin, Christopher et al, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 24(4)
Anecdotal evidence suggests that hearing loss, even when sufficient to prevent full access to spoken communication, often is underreported by patients and not documented by physicians. No published studies have investigated this issue quantitatively.
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Bexelius, Christin et al, J Med Internet Res, 10(4)
Hearing impairment is most accurately measured by a clinical pure-tone audiogram. This method is not suitable for large-scale, population-based epidemiological studies as it requires that study participants visit a clinic with trained personnel. An alternative approach to measuring hearing ability is self-estimation through questionnaires, but the correlation to clinical audiometric tests varies.
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