Cognitive Abilities Relate to Self-Reported Hearing Disability

Adriana A. Zekveld*, Erwin L. J. George, Tammo Houtgast, Sophia E. Kramer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: In this explorative study, the authors investigated the relationship between auditory and cognitive abilities and self-reported hearing disability. Method: Thirty-two adults with mild to moderate hearing loss completed the Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability and Handicap (AIADH; Kramer, Kapteyn, Festen, & Tobi, 1996) and performed the Text Reception Threshold (TRT; Zekveld, George, Kramer, Goverts, & Houtgast, 2007) test as well as tests of spatial working memory (SWM) and visual sustained attention. Regression analyses examined the predictive value of age, hearing thresholds (pure-tone averages [PTAs]), speech perception in noise (speech reception thresholds in noise [SRTNs]), and the cognitive tests for the 5 AIADH factors. Results: Besides the variance explained by age, PTA, and SRTN, cognitive abilities were related to each hearing factor. The reported difficulties with sound detection and speech perception in quiet were less severe for participants with higher age, lower PTAs, and better TRTs. Fewer sound localization and speech perception in noise problems were reported by participants with better SRTNs and smaller SWM. Fewer sound discrimination difficulties were reported by subjects with better SRTNs and TRTs and smaller SWM. Conclusions: The results suggest a general role of the ability to read partly masked text in subjective hearing. Large working memory was associated with more reported hearing difficulties. This study shows that besides auditory variables and age, cognitive abilities are related to self-reported hearing disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1364-1372
JournalJournal of Speech Language and Hearing Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • cognition
  • hearing loss
  • speech recognition
  • speech perception

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