Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly with hearing impairment. Methods: We studied 23 hearing-impaired elderly persons aged 60 years or older. The participants underwent audiometric, neuropsychological, and depression assessments. Neuropsychological tests were subsumed in specific cognitive domains (general cognition, semantic memory, processing speed, executive function). The short version of the geriatric depression scale was administered to obtain depressive symptom scores for each subject. Results: First, among audiometric variables, the pure-tone threshold average, sentence-in-noise recognition scores, and hearing handicap scores were significantly correlated with the depressive symptom scores. Second, among neuropsychological variables, the reaction time on the part A of the Korean version of trail making test for the elderly (K-TMT-E), which is reflective of processing speed, was correlated with the depressive symptom scores. Also, the reaction time on the part B of the K-TMT-E, which is reflective of executive function, was correlated with the depressive symptom scores. Lastly, in the stepwise regression analysis, the pure-tone threshold average and the reaction time on the part B of the K-TMT-E were found to be factors significantly associated with depressive symptom scores. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that, for the hearing-impaired elderly, hearing threshold levels and executive function, especially cognitive flexibility are significant factors associated with depression levels.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 Korean Academy of Audiology.
- Depressive symptoms
- Executive function
- Hearing impairment
- Hearing threshold levels