Manchaiah, V., Baguley, D., Pyykkö, I., Kentala, E. & Levo, H.
International Journal of Audiology, 54(1), 1-10. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2014.953217.
Publication year: 2015

Abstract

Objective: It is common to study and understand how various illness and disorders result in negative consequences. However, positive experiences have been reported in a range of disabling conditions including multiple sclerosis, heart disease, physical and sensory disabilities. This paper presents a literature review of studies that have explored positive experiences associated with acquired hearing loss, Ménière’s disease, and tinnitus. Design: A review of the peer reviewed scientific literature. Study sample: A comprehensive search strategy identified 15 articles after applying inclusion criteria. Results: A range of positive experiences have been reported by patients with hearing and balance disorders and by their significant others. Associations between demographic variables (e.g. age, gender), audiological variables (e.g. severity of the condition, duration) and the reported positive experiences are low. In Ménière’s disease, self-reported positive experiences can predict the impact of the condition. However, this phenomenon has not yet been demonstrated in relation to hearing loss and tinnitus. Conclusions: Positive experiences associated with audio-vestibular disorders have been demonstrated. Further research is needed on the long-term benefits of the encouragement of such experiences and positive attitudes in persons with hearing loss, tinnitus, and imbalance.