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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 102  |  Page : 217--222

Hearing loss and access to audiology services in rural victoria: Findings from the crossroads study

1 Department of Rural Health, University of Melbourne, Wangaratta, Victoria
2 Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Kristen M Glenister
Department of Rural Health, University of Melbourne, “The Chalet” Docker Street, PO Box 386, Wangaratta 3677, VIC, Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_5_18

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Context: Rural residents can be exposed to high levels of agricultural machinery noise and are at risk of hearing loss. Aims: This study aimed to determine audiology service use and rates of hearing loss in a regional area of Australia, using both self-report and audiology testing. Setting and Design: A survey of randomly selected households was undertaken and 6432 participants were interviewed face to face about their health, hearing, and use of audiology services. A total of 1454 participants were randomly selected to undertake standard audiology testing. Material and Methods: Material Hearing was evaluated using conventional audiometry. Statistical Analysis Used: Independent t-tests, cChi-squared tests, and logistic regression were used to examine the association amongbetween hearing loss, use of audiology services, and demographic factors. Results: Hearing issues were present in 12.5% of the survey participants. The rate of hearing loss increased significantly with age. Males were significantly more likely to have hearing loss than females (9.5% vs. 5.2%, pP << 0.01). The majority of people who reported accessing audiology services in the past 12 months were satisfied with the care they received (85.2%), and experienced short waiting times for these services (68.2% waited ≤≤ 7 days). Conclusions: Males had higher rates of hearing issues than females in this rural area. Audiology services in the region were accessible within short waiting times, and clients were satisfied with the service.


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