Table of Contents
Journal of Geriatrics
Volume 2014, Article ID 254518, 7 pages
Research Article

Dual Sensory Impairment among Community Dwelling Rural Elderly: Concern for Rehabilitation

1Department of Community Medicine, ESIC-MC & PGIMSR, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560010, India
2Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bangalore 560034, India
3Department of Community Medicine, Al-Ameen Medical College, Bijapur 586108, India

Received 30 September 2013; Revised 4 December 2013; Accepted 8 December 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editor: Shunichiro Shinagawa

Copyright © 2014 Deepthi Ramamurthy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. There is an increase in dual sensory impairment (DSI) (hearing and visual) with increase in elderly population. Most causes of DSI among elderly are treatable. This study determines the prevalence and characteristics of dual sensory impairment among elderly of a rural community. Material and Methods. A cross-sectional study conducted among 175 rural elderly. Visual acuity for distant vision was measured using Snellen E chart. Hearing ability was measured using pure tone audiometry. Results. The prevalence of hearing impairment was 72% and that of visual impairment was 48%. The overall prevalence of DSI among the study subjects was 17.7% and 32.6% depending on whether traditional pure tone average or high-frequency pure tone average was used to define moderate or worse degree of hearing impairment. DSI prevalence increased significantly with increase in age. DSI was higher among widow/ers and illiterates, who did not have any source of income and those who were financially dependent on others compared to their counter groups. Conclusion. Prevalence of DSI is high among community dwelling rural Indian elderly. Individuals with DSI produce unique challenges in rehabilitation. A team approach at primary health care level is necessary to diagnose and rehabilitate elderly thereby enabling them to easily lead an independent life.