Hearing Aids for Mild-to-Moderate Hearing Loss in Adults
A recent systematic review concluded that hearing aid use in older adults with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss was beneficial in improving everyday situations, general health-related quality of life and improve listening ability with little evidence of harm.
Eight hundred twenty-five adults between 69 and 83 years of age were included in the review. The duration of the studies ranged from 6 weeks and 6 months. Specifically, the results of this study show a moderate quality of evidence for listening abilities, hearing specific and general health-related quality of life. There was a large effect for listening abilities and hearing-specific quality of life. Previously not shown before is a small beneficial effect on general health-related quality of life with hearing aid use.
The authors suggest that there is a need for consistency in measuring outcomes that assess benefit. The study concluded that “The evidence is compatible with the widespread provision of hearing aids as the first-line clinical management in those who seek help for hearing difficulties.” While these findings are probably not surprising to our readers, the implications of this systematic review are potentially impactful to the profession.
Ferguson MA, Kitterick PT, Chong LY, Edmonson-Jones M, Barker F, Hoare DJ, Hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD012023.