Introduction Hearing loss is one of the most common problems in the elderly population. Besides compromising oral communication, it directly affects social relations and prevents elderly patients from living actively in society, possibly leading to the onset of depression or other conditions.
Objective To analyze the effects of unilateral adaptation of hearing aids on symptoms of depression and the social activity constraints of elderly subjects with hearing impairment.
Methods The sample consisted of elderly subjects with hearing loss who did not use hearing aids. Data were collected in two phases. Initially, all participants underwent an audiological assessment and answered the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Elderly (summarized version) and the Geriatric Depression Scale. All subjects participated in the selection and hearing aid adaptation processes and became monaural hearing aid users. After 30 days of hearing aid use, they were assessed with the same instruments. The results of the questionnaires before and after hearing aid adaptation were compared.
Results The sample consisted of 13 individuals, between 60 and 90 years old (mean 72.85 ± 11.05 years). Data analysis showed that there was significant improvement in social activity constraints (p < 0.001) and in symptoms of depression (p = 0.031).
Conclusion Results show that, in the sample studied, unilateral hearing aid adaptation reduced social activity constraints and depression symptoms.