Natalie Phillips, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, Concordia University
Dr. Natalie Phillips (Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Dalhousie, 1996) is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Concordia University, and holds the Concordia University Research Chair (Tier 1) in Sensory-Cognitive Health in Aging and Dementia. She is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and teaches in the area of human and clinical neuropsychology. Dr. Phillips is one of the principal developers of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a cognitive screening instrument used around the world for the assessment of mild cognitive impairment. She is the Associate Scientific Director of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA, http://ccna-ccnv.ca/en/), which is Canada’s national research consortium on dementia and she is founding leader of CCNA Team 17 http://ccnateam17.ca/), which examines issues of sensory health and cognitive function in older adults with or at risk for dementia.
Department of Psychology, Concordia University
7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4B 1R6
Voice:(+1) 514-848-2424 ext. 2218; Fax: (+1) 514-848-4537
Department home page:http://www.concordia.ca/artsci/psychology/faculty.html?fpid=natalie-phillips
The role of sex and gender in hearing, health, and well-being in older adults
Dr. Gillian Einstein, PhD
Gillian Einstein, PhD, is Professor of Psychology, the Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging at the University of Toronto, and Lead of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration and Aging’s Cross-cutting Program, Women, Sex, Gender, and Dementia. Her research focuses on the interplay of sex and gender in women’s brain health. She uses neuropsychology, neuroimaging, large data sets, and qualitative interviewing to better understand how the social becomes biological for women’s brains – or, how the world writes on the body.
University of Toronto
Department of Psychology
100 St. George Street
Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G3
Dr. Mick is a neurotologist/skull base surgeon from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He has a Masters’ degree in public health and his research focuses on the epidemiology of hearing loss. Dr. Mick is a researcher in the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (Team 17- Interventions at the Sensory and Cognitive Interface: Implications for Communication and Quality of Life). Much of his recent work focuses on analyses of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA).
Paul Mick, M.D.
Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Office: (306) 844-1035
Fax: (639) 630-2100
Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Her research on human auditory function and age-related hearing loss has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1981. She previously served on an Advisory Council of the NIH, four National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine consensus committees, and as President of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology and the Acoustical Society of America. She received the 2018 Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the 2018 South Carolina Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science, and the 2020 Gold Medal from the Acoustical Society of America.
Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D.
Distinguished University Professor
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC 29425 USA
Larry E. Humes is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana USA. He is also Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University. He has served as associate editor and editor for several audiology journals. Professor Humes has received the Honors of the Association and the Alfred Kawana Award for Lifetime Achievement in Publications from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the James Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology from the American Academy of Audiology. He also presented the 2020 Carhart Lecture at the American Auditory Society. His most recent research activities have focused on age-related changes in auditory perception, including speech understanding, and on outcome measures for hearing aids.
Larry E. Humes, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Bloomington, IN 47405 USA
Nikolai Bisgaard graduated from the Technical University of Denmark as M.Sc EE (1976) with a thesis on psychoacoustic test procedures. He has worked in the hearing industry since 1978 and was responsible for R&D in GN Resound from 1984 to 1999. Nikolai Bisgaard has been active in industry bodies like the EHIMA, HIMSA and HIMPP, has been involved in developing international standards for hearing aid fitting and led the effort to develop standard audiograms. He has recently worked on analyzing hearing aid adoption rates using data from EuroTrak surveys and the hearing industry. Nikolai Bisgaard is administrator for the GN Store Nord foundation and research consultant to EHIMA.
Dr. Gurjit Singh, PhD, Reg. CASLPO
Dr. Gurjit Singh is a Senior Research Audiologist at Sonova AG, the largest provider of hearing care solutions in the world. In addition to being a clinical audiologist, he completed degrees in social psychology focused medical decision-making and a PhD in cognitive psychology. His research interests focus on factors that lead to success with hearing rehabilitation.
Gurjit Singh, PhD, Reg. CASLPO
Sonova Canada Inc.
80 Courtneypark Drive West Unit #1, Mississauga, ON, Canada
Mobile: +1 647 338 1531
Natalie Phillips, Concordia University, Canada
Gillian Einstein, Women’s Brain Health and Aging, Canada
Paul Mick, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Canada
Judy R. Dubno, Medical University of South Carolina, United States
Larry E. Humes, Indiana University, United States
Nikolai Bisgaard, GN Store Nord foundation, Denmark
Gurjit Singh, Sonova AG, Canada
The WHO Guidelines for Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE; 2017) emphasizes the need to consider multiple factors and comorbidities to optimize intrinsic capacity and functional ability to promote healthy ageing. Both sex (i.e., biological characteristics) and gender (which refers to both self-identification and social constructs and structures) have important implications for our health and well-being, our behaviour and attitudes, and our social interactions. In parallel, the WHO World Report of Hearing (2021) demonstrates that hearing is a key component to human capacity and day-to-day functioning. Hearing loss is a major health care issue for older adults around the world and has important implications for our health and psychosocial well-being. In fact, the recent Lancet Commission considering modifiable risk factors for dementia has identified hearing loss as the health condition with the greatest potential to reduce dementia risk. This symposium will review the important issues of sex and gender in hearing and hearing health care. Talk 1 by Dr. Einstein will set the stage by defining the intersection between sex and gender and the implications of these factors for health, including cognitive health. Talk 2 by Drs. Judy Dubno, Larry Humes, Nikolai Bisgaard will review sex and gender differences in the etiologies and biologic mechanisms of hearing loss, and will consider sex/gender differences in measures of hearing loss, perceived hearing difficulties, help-seeking behaviours, and hearing-aid use outcomes. Talk 3 by Dr. Paul Mick will review whether sex modifies associations between hearing loss and other health conditions, with a focus on social isolation and cardiovascular risk factors. Talk 4 by Dr. Natalie Phillips will consider the potential for sex differences in hearing-cognitive relationships, including age-related cognitive decline and dementia. Finally, Talk 5 by Dr. Gurjit Singh will consideration the role of gender in person-centered integrated care and communication accessibility for older adults living with hearing disability.
Presenter #1, Gillian Einstein
Sex and Gender in Brain and Cognitive Aging
Sex (biological characteristics) and gender (social structures as well as self-identification) both affect brain and cognitive aging. They are difficult to tease apart because the social becomes biological. However, for purposes of understanding their relative roles in successful and unsuccessful aging, it is important to tease them apart. In this talk I will define sex and gender, provide a few examples of how they affect women and men’s cognitive aging, and describe how women’s reproductive lives, in particular, might affect their brain aging. Learning goals are (1) understanding the difference between sex and gender; (2) knowing some of the sex and gendered risk factors for unsuccessful brain aging; (3) learning about the importance of ovarian hormones early in life for women’s successful late-life cognition.
Presenter #2, Judy R. Dubno, Larry E. H and Nikolai Bisgaard
Sex/gender differences in measures of hearing loss, perceived hearing difficulties, help-seeking, and hearing-aid outcomes
Sex/gender differences in auditory function as measured by pure-tone thresholds are consistently poorer for older men than women. However, differences in etiologies and biologic mechanisms that may underlie these differences are less clear, as are contributions of gendered differences in the social determinants of age-related hearing loss. In addition, less is known about sex/gender differences in self-reported hearing loss, perceived hearing difficulties and the adjustment to those difficulties, and in the delay between the onset of communication problems and seeking help to address those problems, including the adoption rate of hearing aids. Finally, for older adult users of hearing aids, still less is known about sex/gender differences in overall satisfaction, reasons for non-use, and hearing-aid outcomes. That is, referring to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework of healthy function, although the bodily impairment/auditory input component of function may be poorer for older men than women, sex/gender differences in two other components of auditory function, activity limitations and participation restrictions, have not been thoroughly explored, especially while controlling confounding factors of age and sex/gender differences in audibility. Here, results from medium-to-large datasets were used to assess sex/gender differences in measures of hearing loss, perceived hearing difficulties, help-seeking, and hearing-aid outcomes.
Presenter #3, Paul Mick
Sex and gender as a modifying factor of associations between hearing loss and other health conditions
There are a number of health conditions associated with hearing loss that have been described as either risk factors (e.g., noise exposure, cardiovascular disease) or downstream effects (e.g., cognitive decline, dementia and social isolation). Some epidemiology studies investigating such associations aimed to determine if effect estimates were modified by sex and gender, using disaggregated analyses or testing interaction terms. Many studies, however, did not. Differences in effect estimates between males and females can potentially be explained by gender- and/or sex-influenced factors, depending on the association of interest. In this presentation, Dr. Mick will present evidence of effect modification by sex on associations between hearing loss and other health conditions, with a focus on social isolation and cardiovascular risk factors. Potential reasons for the differences in results between males and females will be discussed.
Presenter #4, Natalie Phillips
Are there sex/gender differences in the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive function?
Mild age-related changes in cognitive function in healthy older adults are normative and changes in sensory acuity (including hearing loss) mediates some of these changes. Moreover, hearing status has been shown to predict age-related decline in cognition and, of the preventable risk factors associated with the development of dementia, hearing loss has been identified as the risk factor with the greatest potential to reduce risk. Thus, there is a robust literature now on the associations between hearing loss and cognitive performance in older adults. However, very little attention has been devoted to whether there are sex and gender differences in sensory-cognitive associations, despite the fact that men and women differ in hearing loss etiologies and risk factors, in the functional and psychosocial effects of hearing loss, in cognitive function, and in risk factors for dementia. This presentation will review the extant findings on whether hearing-cognition associations differ between men and women and situation these findings in the potential mechanisms that may underlie hearing-cognitive relationships. The potential implications for clinical care will be discussed.
Presenter #5, Gurjit Singh
Gender considerations for person-centered integrated care and communication accessibility for older adults living with hearing disability
In this presentation, we discuss our current understanding of and possible avenues for future research to better understand the influence of gender on the functioning of older adults who live with hearing disability and how hearing rehabilitation and communication accessibility could be improved by considering gender-related factors. As evidenced by such social justice movements as the MeToo movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, there is increasing recognition in society of the need to address past injustices and structural inequalities. In keeping with these societal megatrends, there is also a growing recognition that healthcare and social policies in general, and approaches to hearing disability specifically, have focused largely on sub-populations that are not representative of all in terms of multiple factors such as age and gender, as well as socioeconomic status, education, race, ethnicity and religious background. Because healthcare is likely to become more personalized and tailored, and because there are many factors influencing the lived experience of aging with hearing disability, we must expand our understanding of how patient-centered integrated care and age-friendly policies can best be provided for subgroups that have been underrepresented, beginning with a focus being on age and gender.