Hearing Loss: Applying the Social-Ecological Model for Change


  • Amanda M. Hinson-Enslin Wright State University
  • Heather F. McClintock Arcadia University




Hearing loss, Hearing aids, Comorbidities, Insurance


Introduction: The proportion of Ohioans experiencing deafness or serious difficulty hearing is higher than national estimates and is increasing over time.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the burden, risk factors, comorbidities, and financial implications of hearing loss in Ohio as well as discuss approaches to reduce the burden of hearing loss in Ohio applying the Social-Ecological Model

Methods: A narrative review was completed to summarize peer-reviewed literature on hearing loss in Ohio. The Social-Ecological Model was applied to identify approaches to reduce the burden of hearing loss in Ohio.

Results: The burden of hearing loss on health and economic well-being is substantial in Ohio. While initiatives have sought to reduce costs and increase access, barriers continue to persist impeding people’s ability to obtain needed services in Ohio. Approaches were identified on all levels of the Social-Ecological Model to address the burden of hearing loss in Ohio such as creating interventions for prevention, improving access to hearing tests and hearing aids, and changing policies that expand insurance coverage for hearing aids.

Conclusion: There is a critical need for public health-initiated programs and policies that reduce barriers and increase access to hearing related services that can be implemented on all levels of the Social-Ecological Model.






Commentary or Policy