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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66--72

Is there a gender difference in coping, perceived disability and handicap in patients with noise-induced hearing loss?

Department of Psychology, Göteborg University & Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Lillemor Hallberg
Department of Psychology, Göteborg University & Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12689510

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Gender differences in coping strategies and self-rated disability and handicap were explored in individuals with noise-induced hearing loss. The study group consisted of 60 male and 33 female patients, consecutively presenting at the hearing clinics in two hospitals in the western part of Sweden. The females were older and had worse average hearing thresholds over the low frequencies (0.5, 1 and 2 kHz) in the better ear than the males. However, all subjects rated their hearing loss as "moderate" to "severe". The patients responded to the Communication Strategies Scale, CSS, measuring "maladaptive behaviour", "verbal strategies" and "non­verbal strategies" and the Hearing Disability and Handicaps Scale, HDHS, which is composed of four factorially derived subscales: "speech perception", "non-speech sounds", "interpersonal distress" and "threat to the self-image". Pure-tone audiometry and sociodemographic data was also assessed. Despite differences in pure-tone audiometry, there were no significant differences between gender in perceived disability or handicap. Significant gender differences in coping were found. The women used "maladaptive behaviour" and "verbal strategies" significantly more often than the men. This is in agreement with results of an interview-study of women with NIHL, showing that the perceived emotional temperature in a specific situation guided the choice of coping strategy. The gender difference in coping could also be related to, and explained by, the conversational goal (transactional or interactional).


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