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The Potential Impact of Undiagnosed Hearing Loss on the Diagnosis of Dementia

Jorgensen, Lindsey (2012) The Potential Impact of Undiagnosed Hearing Loss on the Diagnosis of Dementia. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Hearing loss and dementia are conditions that impact similar populations. Many adults do not seek audiologic care for their hearing loss and thus are seen in the primary care physician’s office with an undiagnosed hearing loss. This study sought to determine the impact of undiagnosed hearing loss and thus decreased audibility on the items of the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) commonly used to diagnose dementia. Many physicians use the MMSE along with self-report of cognitive decline to diagnose dementia. Previous studies have suggested that self-report of cognitive decline is impacted by hearing loss. This study suggests that a decrease in audibility that would be associated with an undiagnosed hearing loss significantly impacts performance on the MMSE. Physicians should be cautious when using the MMSE and self-report of cognitive impairment to diagnose dementia without accounting for hearing loss as both may be significantly impacted by undiagnosed hearing loss.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Jorgensen, Lindseylek18@pitt.eduLEK18
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPalmer, Catherinepalmercv@upmc.eduCVP
Committee MemberPratt, Sheilaspratt@pitt.eduSPRATT
Committee MemberMoncrieff, Deborahdmoncrie@pitt.eduDMONCRIE
Committee MemberErickson, Kirkkiericks@pitt.eduKIERICKS
Date: 17 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 June 2012
Approval Date: 17 September 2012
Submission Date: 25 July 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 180
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hearing loss, dementia, aging, diagnosis
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2012 16:41
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:38


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