Evidence strongly supports a correlation between hearing impairment in older adults and decline in physical functioning. A recent population cohort study of older adults revealed that hearing impairment was associated with poorer physical function, reduced walking endurance, and accelerated decline. Join us while we discuss this evidence and how to apply it to your practice. You’ll walk away with strategies to promote hearing assessment and to help optimize physical functioning in your older adult patients. 

Episode references and resource links: 

  • Brenowitz WD, Wallhagen MI. Does Hearing Impairment Affect Physical Function?: Current Evidence, Potential Mechanisms, and Future Research Directions for Healthy Aging. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2114782. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.14782. PMID: 34170308.
  • Martinez-Amezcua P, Powell D, Kuo PL, Reed NS, Sullivan KJ, Palta P, Szklo M, Sharrett R, Schrack JA, Lin FR, Deal JA. Association of Age-Related Hearing Impairment With Physical Functioning Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2113742. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13742. PMID: 34170305; PMCID: PMC8233700.
  • Martinez-Amezcua P, Kuo PL, Reed NS, Simonsick EM, Agrawal Y, Lin FR, Deal JA, Ferrucci L, Schrack JA. Association of hearing impairment with higher level physical functioning and walking endurance: Results from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 May 18:glab144. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glab144. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34003883.
    Croll, P.H., Vinke, E.J., Armstrong, N.M. et al. Hearing loss and cognitive decline in the general population: a prospective cohort study. J Neurol 268, 860–871 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10208-8

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the relationship between hearing impairment in older adults and decline in physical functioning
  • Describe strategies to assess hearing and treat hearing loss to promote optimal functioning in older adults



Frank J. Domino, MD

Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health,
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C

Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Track


The following financial relationships have been disclosed by faculty.

Frank J. Domino, MD

Has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. 

Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C

Has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. 


Non-faculty contributors and others involved in the planning, development, and editing/review of the content have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

CME/CE Information

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

Accreditation Statement

Pri-Med Institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement

Pri-Med Institute designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For APRNs and PAs, AANPCB and NCCPA accept AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ as the number of hours of participation (AANPCB) or as Category 1 CME credits (NCCPA).

Commercial Supporter

Not Applicable

Education Partner

Not Applicable

Fine Print

The preferred browser is Google Chrome. If using a different browser, such as Safari, Firefox or Edge, make sure you are using the most up-to-date version. Your Internet settings should be set to accept cookies and JavaScript. If cookies and/or JavaScript are disabled, the site may not function properly. A high-speed Internet connection is not required; however, it is recommended for faster download times.

The opinions, ideas, and recommendations expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty only and are not necessarily endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, those of their affiliated institutions, Pri-Med Institute, Pri-Med Institute Advisory Boards and Consultants, DBC Pri-Med, LLC.

Clinical judgment must guide each clinician in weighing the possible risks, benefits, or contraindications of any diagnostics, interventions or treatments discussed. Clinicians should review manufacturers’ product information and consider these with the recommendations of other authorities when applying the assessment and/or clinical management strategies discussed in this activity to the care of their patients.

Pri-Med Institute educational activities are developed and conducted in accordance with the ACCME's Essential Areas and Policies. It is the mission of Pri-Med Institute to develop and present educational activities that are timely, fair-balanced, scientifically rigorous, and that serve to improve patient outcomes. To that end, we welcome your comments about how to better serve your needs.

Pri-Med Institute Accredited Provider
Pri-Med programs are owned and operated by DBC Pri-Med, LLC, a division of Diversified Communications, Inc. Pri-Med Institute, the accredited division of Pri-Med, is accredited with commendation by the ACCME and approved as a provider of continuing education by the AANP. Pri-Med Institute is the accredited provider for this activity.

Disclosures and Conflict of Interest
Pri-Med Institute requires all individuals in a position to influence educational content for Pri-Med Institute-certified CME/CE activities to disclose relevant personal financial relationships with commercial interests prior to contributing to its educational activities. Pri-Med Institute assesses disclosed relationships and follows a defined process to resolve real or implied conflicts to ensure, to the best of its ability, that all educational content is free of commercial bias. Financial disclosures are listed in the activity syllabus and will also be printed on the slides and announced at the start of each presentation.

Discussion of Off-Label Uses and Investigational Products
During the course of their presentations, the faculty may mention uses of products that have not been approved in the United States for the indication(s) being discussed. All presenters are instructed to notify participants when they are discussing unapproved uses or investigational agents. In addition, specific slides will include notation of the off-label use or investigational agent being discussed. Views presented related to unapproved uses of products are solely those of the presenter(s) and are not endorsed by Pri-Med Institute or DBC Pri-Med, LLC.

Questions? If you have questions about this activity, please email support@pri-med.com or call (877) 477-4633.