Vocational rehabilitation services for people with hearing difficulties: A systematic review of the literature

A.H.M. Gussenhoven, E.P. Jansma, S.T. Goverts, J.M. Festen, J.R. Anema, S.E. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The goal of this review was to list and summarize work-related health programs for employees with hearing difficulties and to summarize the statistical evidence of the effectiveness of these programs. Methods: A systematic review was performed by searching the PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and The Cochrane Library databases for relevant citations. From 2313 unique citations retrieved from the search strategy, we included nine programs that met all inclusion criteria. The authors assessed the methodological quality of studies which evaluated the program's effectiveness, using the Downs and Black checklist. Results: Nine vocational rehabilitation programs for people with hearing difficulties were described. The programs differed in procedure, duration, setting, and content. In four studies, the effectiveness of the program was explored statistically. Measurements showed an improvement in general health (SF-36), communication strategies, and the degree of work readiness, but none of these studies included a control group, a power calculation, nor adjusted for confounding. Hence, the methodological quality to provide evidence of effectiveness was assessed as poor. Discussion: Existing vocational programs for employees with hearing difficulties provide relevant information to demonstrate how to implement the appropriate content of the programs. Future research is required to improve the strength of evidence of the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation for workers with hearing difficulties. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-164
JournalWork: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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