Adult Aural Rehabilitation Outcomes
Barker et al (2015) report that evidence indicates hearing aid use can reduce rates of depression and anxiety. Further, hearing aid use can improve emotional stability and independence, can reduce social isolation, and improve quality of life. However, non-use after acquisition ranges from 5 to 40 percent. Of note, non-adherence is not a unique problem relating to hearing aids, non-adherence occurs across patients associated with multiple health-care disciplines.
Therefore, Barker et al performed a scoping review of more than 1,000 published articles relating to “the effect of interventions to improve hearing aid use….” Of the original 1,718 identified articles, 1,018 were screened based on their titles and abstracts, and in the final analysis 44 articles met the inclusion criteria. Of the included articles, all were based on self-reports of daily use in hours, nine articles measured communication as an outcome, two used the SSQ, twelve measured hearing aid benefit, six reported a psychological outcome and more. In brief, “there was a great deal of heterogeneity in the way speech perception was measured…” and unfortunately, only six articles evaluated outcomes over one year or longer.
The authors conclude that one significant issue is “a lack of consistency in patient-reported outcome measurement.” They stated social and economic outcomes are rarely reported, also lacking are measures of quality of care, access, and service utilization. Finally they state that “long-term outcome assessment is rare…” and this lack of long-term outcomes is a “notable weakness given the long-term nature of hearing loss and interventions designed to ameliorate its effects.”
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Barker F, MacKenzie E, Elliott L, de Lusignan S. (2015) Outcome Measurement in Adult Auditory Rehabilitation—A Scoping Review of Measures Used in Randomized Controlled Trials. Ear & Hearing 36(5):56-573.