Relationship between self-reported listening and communication difficulties and executive function: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

Jemaine E Stacey, Henrik Danielsson, Antje Heinrich, Lucija Batinović, Emil Holmer, Elisabeth Ingo, Helen Henshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Listening and communication difficulties can limit people’s participation in activity and adversely affect their quality of life. Hearing, as well as listening
and communication difficulties, can be measured either by using behavioural tests or self-report measures, and the outcomes are not always closely linked. The association between behaviourally measured and self-reported hearing is strong, whereas the association between behavioural and self-reported measures of listening and communication difficulties is much weaker,
suggesting they assess different aspects of listening. While behavioural measures of listening and communication difficulties have been associated with poorer cognitive performance including executive functions, the same association has not always been shown for self-report measures. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to understand the relationship between executive function and self-reported listening and communication difficulties in adults with hearing loss, and where possible, potential covariates of age and pure-tone audiometric thresholds.

Methods and analysis
Studies will be eligible for inclusion if they report data from both a self-report measure of listening difficulties and a behavioural measure of executive function. Eight databases are to be searched: MEDLINE (via Ovid SP), EMBASE (via Ovid SP), PsycINFO (via Ovid SP), ASSIA (via ProQuest), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature or CINAHL (via EBSCO Host), Scopus, PubMed and Web of Science (Science and Social Science Citation Index). The JBI critical appraisal tool will be used to assess risk of bias for included studies. Results will be synthesised primarily using a meta-analysis, and where sufficient quantitative data are not available, a narrative synthesis will be carried out to
describe key results.

Ethics and dissemination
No ethical issues are foreseen. Data will be disseminated via academic publication and conference presentations. Findings may also be published in scientific newsletters and magazines.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42022293546.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere071225
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023


  • Audiology
  • General medicine (see internal medicine)


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