Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
Follow-up and structured monitoring for adults offered a NHS hearing aid for the first time (FAMOUS): a cluster randomised controlled trial
The support offered to first-time NHS hearing aid users varies hugely around the UK, which is problematic since patients may not seek help themselves. Because it is known that greater hearing aid use results in more benefit for adults with hearing loss, this research team has identified four things that audiologists should do to increase the amount of time new users wear their hearing aids. They will test whether the four-step support strategy increases the amount of time that new users wear their hearing aids and the impact this has on NHS resources. They will also confirm that greater use has positive impacts on the daily lives of hearing aid users and their families.
Development and feasibility of a behavioural intervention to improve the beneficial use of hearing technology for adults with hearing loss
This ongoing research aims to identify barriers and enablers for the use of hearing technologies such as hearing aids and over-the-counter alternatives, to inform the development and feasibility of a behavioural intervention to improve use and adherence. The research draws upon audiology, health psychology and person-based intervention development expertise.
A systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the effectiveness of alternative listening devices to conventional hearing aids in adults with hearing loss
This systematic review (2018) examined the effectiveness of alternative listening devices for adults with hearing loss. Findings showed evidence for improvements in speech intelligibility, but no consistent improvements in user self-reported benefits. Much of the evidence reviewed was of low quality. Further high-quality research is needed.
Horizon scanning review
In March 2017, the NIHR published the results of its horizon scanning review, which looked for new and emerging technologies for hearing loss. The review identified 55 new technologies. Patients, clinicians and researchers highlighted the technologies of interest to them which, if successful, would have the potential to change the cochlear implant landscape for patients, improve patient experience and use of hearing aids, and would affect service delivery and provision.
Hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults
This Cochrane Review (2017) showed a large beneficial effect of hearing aids on hearing-specific health-related quality of life, and a small beneficial effect of hearing aids on general health-related quality of life, for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. This evidence is compatible with the widespread provision of hearing aids as the first‐line clinical management in those who seek help for hearing difficulties.
There are two projects addressing a treatment uncertainty submitted to the PSP: What is the effectiveness of auditory training to improve outcomes for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss?:
1. Efficacy of individual computer-based auditory training for people with hearing loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis
An ongoing systematic review and meta-analysis (an update to a published 2013 systematic review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3651281/ ) will synthesise evidence for the following:
Does evidence exist to support improvements in trained and untrained measures of speech perception, cognition, communication or quality of life as a result of individual computer-based auditory training in adults with hearing loss (with or without hearing aids or cochlear implants)?
Do any improvements in trained or untrained outcomes remain at post-training intervention follow-ups (where measured and reported)?
What are the levels of compliance with individual computer-based auditory training programs in adults with hearing loss for included studies?
2. Feasibility of a Randomised Controlled Trial to examine the effectiveness of auditory-cognitive training to improve hearing aid users' speech perception outcomes, compared with hearing aids alone
This NIHR-funded feasibility study will examine the feasibility of a multicentre clinical trial to assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of providing auditory-cognitive training to improve speech perception outcomes for first-time hearing aid users in the NHS.
A randomised Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Benefits of a Multimedia Educational Program for First-Time Hearing Aid Users
This project addresses a treatment uncertainty submitted to the PSP: What are the benefits of educating people about mild to moderate hearing loss and hearing aids? A randomised controlled trial of an interactive multimedia education program for first-time hearing aid users showed evidence for improved knowledge and use of hearing aids. This study provides evidence to suggest that education in the form of Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) may provide valuable learning and educational support for first-time hearing aid users and could be used to supplement clinical rehabilitation practice.