Longitudinal Outcomes of Hearing Aids

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • End date
    Dec 31, 2023
  • participants needed
    45
  • sponsor
    Yu-Hsiang Wu
Updated on 9 March 2021

Summary

Age-related hearing loss is a substantial national problem due to its high prevalence and significant psychosocial consequences. Although hearing aids (HAs) are the primary intervention for the management of age-related hearing loss, only 15-30% of those who could benefit from HAs actually seek them out. HA adoption rates are even worse for people with lower income and for racial and ethnic minorities. One of the most commonly reported reasons for people not seeking HA intervention is the high cost of HAs and the associated audiological fitting services. Because HAs fitted using the audiologist-based service-delivery model are unaffordable, more and more Americans (1.5 million in 2010) purchase amplification devices via over-the-counter (OTC) service-delivery models to compensate for their impaired hearing.

Although OTC amplification devices are gaining popularity and are regarded as an important option for promoting accessible and affordable hearing healthcare, it is unclear if they are viable solutions for age-related hearing loss as OTC models exclude professional services. Further, although there is some evidence supporting the effectiveness of OTC HAs, all previous studies measured short-term outcomes (e.g., 6 weeks). It is unknown what the long-term outcomes of OTC HAs would look like. The outcomes could improve across time because users may eventually figure out how to use HAs. On the other hand, the outcomes of OTC HAs could become poorer across time because, unlike traditional HA fitting, users do not have professionals to support them. Therefore, the overall goal of this project is to examine the longitudinal changes in OTC HA outcomes over 3 months.

Description

Although hearing aids (HAs) are the first treatment of choice for age-related hearing loss, only 15-30% of those older Americans who could benefit, actually seek HAs out and use them. HA adoption rates are even lower for people with lower income and for racial and ethnic minorities. Although the answer to why so few older adults seek or use amplification is multidimensional, one common thread is that many people believe that HAs fitted using the audiologist-based model cost too much. Therefore, it is not surprising that there has been increased advocacy for a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) service-delivery models, which have increasingly been identified as important options for managing mild-to-moderate age-related hearing loss.

Is the amplification intervention delivered using the OTC model an appropriate solution for age-related hearing loss? Although there is some evidence supporting the effectiveness of OTC HAs, all previous studies measured short-term outcomes (e.g., 6 weeks). It is unknown what the long-term outcomes of OTC HAs would look like. The purpose of this project is to examine the longitudinal changes in OTC HA outcomes over 3 months. Older adults with age-related hearing loss will be recruited. Pre-configured hearing aids (that simulate OTC hearing aids) will be provided to subjects. Subjects will take the full initiative and responsibility for learning and using hearing aids. HA outcomes will be measured at 6-week and 12-week post intervention.

Details
Condition Presbycusis
Treatment Over-the-counter fitting
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04030299
SponsorYu-Hsiang Wu
Last Modified on9 March 2021

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Is your age between 55 yrs and 85 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have Presbycusis?
Do you have any of these conditions: Do you have Presbycusis??
Do you have any of these conditions: Do you have Presbycusis??
Do you have any of these conditions: Do you have Presbycusis??
adult-onset, bilateral, mild-to-moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss

Exclusion Criteria

Non-native speaker of English
Clear my responses

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