The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has been applied widely in the literature to describe and differentiate the broad implications of hearing impairment (HI) and cognitive impairment (CI) on communication. As CI and HI are largely age-related conditions, the likelihood of comorbidity of these conditions is high. In the context of an aging population, the prevalence of comorbidity is likely to rise, yet much of the clinical assessment and intervention in HI and CI occur separately. The benefit of addressing the dual impact of these conditions is of increasing clinical importance for all clinicians working with older adults and for audiologists and speech pathologists in particular. In this article, the ICF model will be applied to explore the everyday implications of HI and CI. Furthermore, the clinical implications of the ICF model are explored with particular respect to communication assessment and intervention options. The potential benefit of combining activity- and participation-focused interventions currently offered for HI and CI independently is examined.
- cognitive impairment
- hearing impairment