Relational strain in close social relations among older adults with dual sensory loss

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Objectives: The loss of both hearing and vision (dual sensory loss) affects communication and potentially challenges the ability to maintain healthy social relations. The aim of this study was to examine the association between severity of sensory loss and relational strain among older adults with acquired dual sensory loss. Method: Data were collected through a national cross-sectional questionnaire survey and an administrative database. A total of 302 individuals with functional dual sensory loss ⩾50 years of age participated (66% response). Relational strain was measured as the perceived experience of excessive demands, worries, and conflicts with children, other relatives, or the personal support worker. Data were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression. Results: No associations between severity of dual sensory loss and excessive demands from or worries for children, other relatives, or personal support workers were found. Participants with total blindness and profound deafness had significantly higher odds for experiencing conflicts with children (odds ratio [OR] = 3.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.02, 9.38]) and the personal support worker (OR = 4.18, 95% CI = [1.23, 4.28]) compared to participants with residuals of both senses. Discussion: Individuals with total blindness and profound deafness might require special attention in rehabilitation to support them in maintaining healthy social relations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

    Research areas

  • Conflict, hearing loss, intergenerational relations, low vision, relational strain

ID: 226789950