Hearing for Learning Initiative - a Health Facilitator Model for Otitis Media

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Menzies School of Health Research
Updated on 27 January 2021


The Hearing for Learning Initiative is a stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial. The HfLI will implement and rigorously evaluate an innovative community-based service-enhancement model of ear and hearing health, in partnership with participating communities and health and education services.

This initiative will address the following research question: In urban, rural and remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, does employment, training and integration of local Ear and Hearing Clinical and Education Support Officers into health and education services (the Hearing for Learning initiative), compared to current practice, increase the proportion of children who receive an ear assessment, reduce the prevalence of ear and hearing problems and improve education outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, during a four year trial period?


Background: Australian Indigenous children achieve lower scores in school readiness and education outcomes than their non-Indigenous peers. Chronic otitis media and hearing loss during early childhood are associated with lower scores for these outcomes. Local problem: Failure to meet child health program schedules and evidence based practice in ear and hearing health is linked to high turnover of the health workforce, inadequate clinical skills and poor knowledge of ear and hearing health needs of children.

This Hearing for Learning Initiative aims to improve health care and education services.

Interventions: The intervention involves training and employing non-professional community members to facilitate busy primary health care services to deliver evidence-based ear and hearing health assessments in children 0 to 16 years of age, and to facilitate the teaching and home learning of hearing impaired children (the intervention).

Trial design: A stepped-wedge community (n=18) cluster-randomised trial will compare the proportion of children receiving an ear assessment (primary outcomes) in the HfLI (intervention) periods with no HfLI (control) periods. Participating communities will be randomly assigned in 6-monthly steps to shift from control to intervention on pre-specified start dates.

Outcomes: the primary outcome is the change in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who receive an ear assessment, between intervention and control periods.

Condition Otitis Media, Otitis, Conductive hearing loss, Ear Infections, Otitis (Pediatric), Ear Infections (Pediatric), middle ear inflammation
Treatment facilitator
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03916029
SponsorMenzies School of Health Research
Last Modified on27 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Is your age less than or equal to 16 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have any of these conditions: Otitis (Pediatric) or Otitis or Ear Infections or Otitis Media or Ear Infections (Pediatric) or Conductive hearing loss?
Do you have any of these conditions: Otitis Media or middle ear inflammation or Conductive hearing loss or Ear Infections (Pediatric) or Ear Infections or Otitis (Pediatric) or Otitis?
Do you have any of these conditions: Otitis (Pediatric) or Ear Infections (Pediatric) or Otitis Media or middle ear inflammation or Ear Infections or Conductive hearing loss or Otitis?
Do you have any of these conditions: Otitis (Pediatric) or Conductive hearing loss or Ear Infections or Otitis Media or Ear Infections (Pediatric) or middle ear inflammation or Otitis?
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, resident in
participating community (cluster)

Exclusion Criteria

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