Benjamin Hornsby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (United States)
Ben Hornsby is an Associate Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His research focuses on hearing loss-related communication difficulties and their impact on quality of life in of adults and children with hearing loss. His current research examines relationships between hearing loss, mental effort, and fatigue.
Hilary Davis, Ph.D.
Pediatric and Educational Audiologist, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (United States)
Hilary Davis is a pediatric and educational audiologist at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. She provides consultative educational audiology support to local school districts in the Nashville area. She has also partnered with researchers in the Listening and Learning Lab to assess listening-related fatigue in school-age children with hearing loss. She uses the Vanderbilt Fatigue Scales in school evaluations to support the students she serves.
Understanding and Managing the “Fatigue factor” in Children with Hearing Loss
Compared to those with typical hearing, adults and children with hearing loss must often work harder mentally when trying to listen and understand speech. Growing research evidence suggests this need for extra effort, attention, and concentration while listening increases their risk for developing fatigue. When fatigue develops in response to listening difficulties, it is often referred to as listening-related fatigue. This presentation introduces the construct of listening-related fatigue and describes recent research highlighting its relevance for those with hearing loss, with a particular focus on children with hearing loss. We will also introduce the Vanderbilt Fatigue Scales, a suite of subjective measures designed to assess listening-related fatigue in adults and children with hearing loss. The scales can be used for research, clinical, and educational purposes. Finally, while systematic research in this area is limited, we will discuss possible mitigation strategies for reducing the impact of listening-related fatigue in those most affected.
By the end of this session, learners will be able to:
- 1. Define fatigue, listening-related fatigue, and their psychosocial consequences.
- 2. Describe why having a hearing loss may increase the risk for fatigue and its negative effects.
- 3. Discuss how the Vanderbilt Fatigue Scale can be used to identify individuals with hearing loss who may be experiencing severe listening-related fatigue.
- 4. Describe potential strategies for reducing the impact of fatigue in those populations.