B4469 - Investigating whether religion/spiritual beliefs and behaviours moderate associations between hearing and mental health - 01/12/2023

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Neil Goulding | Centre for Academic Child Health, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Dr Amanda Hall
Title of project: 
Investigating whether religion/spiritual beliefs and behaviours moderate associations between hearing and mental health
Proposal summary: 

Hearing loss is in the top ten disabilities in England and second globally for prevalence of impairment. In the UK, around 40% of people aged 50 years old and 71% of people aged 70 years and older have hearing loss. Deterioration of hearing typically starts in the 4th decade of life and risk is increased by noise exposure, genetics and social determinants of health.

Acquired hearing loss can affect communication, mental health, social participation, employment and quality of life. Hearing loss is associated with both anxiety and depression. Hearing loss is also associated with higher risk of loneliness and social isolation, with a potentially greater impact for women compared to men. The impact of hearing loss also extends to communication partners, affecting partners’ social life, quality of life and relationship satisfaction.

Religious and spiritual beliefs and behaviours (RSBB) may provide mechanisms by which people are able to cope with stress, or provide a source of social and emotional support. Recent data supports that RSBB can have a positive influence on living with sensory impairment, both hearing and vision loss. Lee and Park (2022) examine activities of successful ageing and health, and the influence of sensory impairment using data from the US 2015–2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They identified that for those with sensory impairment, participation in religious activity was associated with better reported health. A study of older adults living with age related macular degeneration identified that spirituality and religion were important coping factors promoting emotional well-being. This project will investigate whether self-reported hearing difficulties of study parents are associated with poorer mental health, social isolation and loneliness. If poorer outcomes are identified, we will examine whether RSBB moderates the association, using relevant RSBB-linked questions from ALSPAC questionnaires

Impact of research: 
Identification of associations between hearing impairment and depression/anxiety.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 21 November, 2023
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 1 December, 2023
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Statistical methods