Implementing HearVA (I-HearVA)

  • End date
    Dec 8, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    VA Office of Research and Development
Updated on 25 March 2022


I-HearVA involves six VA facility emergency departments (ED) over a 3-year intervention period. The first part of this study will test whether providing personal amplifiers to Veteran ED patients who self-report hearing difficulty is acceptable to these patients, can improve their hearing, enhance understanding of discharge instructions, and can reduce the risk of coming back to the ED in a short period of time (3 days and 30 days). The second part of the study will then identify whether ED staff can implement this program and achieve similar results. The second part will give ED staff increasing levels of responsibility for screening Veterans for hearing difficulty and providing personal amplifiers when such difficulty is detected.


I-HearVA is a randomized controlled trial to explore the utility and outcomes of providing point-of-care access to hearing-impaired Veterans, comparing an offer of personal amplifiers versus control in an environment where the clinical stakes are high. It addresses a knowledge gap about the utility of providing such hearing assistance during clinical encounters. The study measures whether providing personal amplifiers is acceptable to older patients, can improve hearing, enhance understanding of discharge instructions, and improve care transitions at discharge. If such a strategy is beneficial, this simple low-tech approach has great potential for implementation and wide dissemination. HearVA-ED has two phases - the first, which has been completed, established the feasibility and acceptability of research and procedures in the ED environment through a pilot efficacy study and the second phase will be to complete a larger more definitive efficacy study and a detailed implementation study resulting in a strategic approach that can be widely disseminated across all VA emergency departments throughout the United States. This second phase will use a mixed-methods, hybrid effectiveness-implementation design to implement and evaluate the hearing assistance intervention in six VA Emergency Department Sites (in different facilities across the country). Implementation will occur in four stages with variation in the starting sequence at each site: The first group of two VA emergency departments will initiate implementation with an efficacy trial; second group of two sites will initiate implementation with delivery and support of personal amplifiers after screening and randomization by a research assistant (Stage 1); the third group of two sites will initiate implementation with the entire implementation (Stage 2) and the presence of a research assistant to conduct discharge interviews; and all sites will progress from this sequence to Stage 3 - Sustainability - which is the full implementation without research assistant presence.

Condition Hearing Loss, Emergency Service, Hospital Readmission
Treatment Personal Amplifier, No Personal Amplifier
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05028972
SponsorVA Office of Research and Development
Last Modified on25 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

English or Spanish speaking
Emergency severity index criterion of 3 (medium), 4, or 5 (low acuity)
Hearing Handicap Inventory-Screen greater than or equal to 10 or positive answer to a single-item screening question
Capacity to consent to participate in research

Exclusion Criteria

Inability to consent to participate in research
Emergency severity index criterion of 1-2 (high acuity)
Hearing Handicap Inventory-Screen less than 10 and negative answer to single item screening question
Inability to speak English or Spanish
Clear my responses

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Step 1 Connect with a study center
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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