Health Policy and Management
The objectives of this research were to 1) summarize the available evidence on the impact of hearing loss on quality of life (QOL) among U.S. active-duty service members, 2) describe the QOL instruments that have been used to quantify the impact of hearing loss on quality of life, 3) examine national population-level secondary databases and report on their utility for studying the impact of hearing loss on QOL among active-duty service members, and 4) provide recommendations for future studies that seek to quantify the impact of hearing loss in this population. There is a lack of literature that addresses the intersection of hearing impairment, the military population, and quality of life measures. For audiological research, U.S. military personnel offer a unique research population, as they are exposed to noise levels and blast environments that are highly unusual in civilian work settings and can serve as a model population for studying the impact on QOL associated with these conditions. Our team recommends conducting a study on the active-duty service member population using a measurement instrument suitable for determining decreases in QOL specifically due to hearing loss.
Alamgir, H., Turner, C. A., Wong, N. J., Cooper, S. P., Betancourt, J. A., Henry, J., et al. (2016). The impact of hearing impairment and noise-induced hearing injury on quality of life in the active-duty military population: Challenges to the study of this issue. Military Medical Research, 3, 11. doi:10.1186/s40779-016-0082-5