|Keywords:||CBS; Charles Bonnet; auditory Charles Bonnet; auditory hallucinations; hallucinations; hearing impairment; loneliness; anxiety; depressive symptoms|
|Full text PDF:||http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/312526|
The Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) describes a condition of recurrent complex visual hallucinations in patients with visual impairment. This condition is related to higher levels of loneliness, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Research shows that the CBS does also occur in an auditory form, yet little research on this form is available. This study opposes to find a difference in people with hearing impairment with (aCBS) and without (controls) hallucinations with regard to loneliness, anxiety and depressive symptoms. This study compared the levels of loneliness, anxiety and depressive symptoms in 21 people with aCBS and in 11 controls. The presence or absence of hallucinations was established using the Questionnaire Psychotic Symptoms (QPE). And the levels of loneliness, anxiety and depressive symptoms were obtained using (respectively) De Jong Gierveld Loneliness scale (DJGL), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). With regard to the level of loneliness no difference was found between people with aCBS (median = 2.5) and controls (median = 1.0) (p = .601). People with aCBS (M = 9.71) did also not differ from controls (M = 6.36) on the level of anxiety (p = .260). Finally, no difference was found between people with aCBS (M = 8.86) and controls (M = 6.82) with regard to the level of depressive symptoms (p = .719). People with hearing impairment with hallucinations (aCBS) scored higher on the levels of loneliness, anxiety and depressive symptoms than people with hearing impairment without hallucinations (controls), but this difference did not reach statistical significance. No difference was found between people with aCBS and controls with regard to loneliness, anxiety and depressive symptoms. This result could indicate that people with CBS suffer more from their hallucinations than people with aCBS. However these negative findings could have been caused by sample size that was too small, as all the mean scores were in fact higher for people with aCBS than for control participants. Future studies would do best to use larger sample sizes and measurements like Geriatric Depression Scale that are developed especially for elderly. Furthermore, future studies should focus on the difference between visual CBS and auditory CBS or maybe even the difference between visual and auditory hallucinations. It could be that these types of hallucinations are phenomenological different and should not be seen as the same symptom, which could give implications for treatment.