Mild-to-moderate hearing loss
There are about 11 million people in the UK with permanent hearing loss. Mild-to-moderate hearing loss is a long-term, chronic health condition, comprising the majority (92%) of adults with hearing loss. There is no current ‘cure’ for hearing loss, which can affect every aspect of people’s personal, social and working lives. Untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of developing other health conditions, including depression and dementia. Hearing aids are the most common management for hearing loss, but uptake is poor. It is clear that hearing aids alone are not an optimal solution and other self-management options are necessary.
The overall aim of our research is to promote hearing health and improve the quality of life for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. This is achieved through the development of new knowledge and clinical strategies that overcome listening and social participation difficulties arising from hearing loss. We are evaluating novel technological and patient-centred interventions that give maximum benefit to those who experience hearing loss. We are also working to identify the most important outcomes for hearing loss interventions and how best to measure them.
Our research team has strong collaborative links with experts in eHealth, mental health and health psychology. We also directly engage patients, clinicians and policymakers in all the work that we do. Our research brings together different scientific areas, see figure below. There are three primary themes: (i) eHealth and self-management, (ii) Outcome measurement, and (iii) Listening and cognition. These themes are underpinned by core principles, including the identification of optimal delivery methods, health behaviour-change, and patient-centred approaches.
Projects we are working on
eHealth & Self-Management:
- The development and feasibility of mHealth technologies to improve hearing aid use and benefit in first-time hearing aid users (m2Hear).
- The effectiveness of alternative listening devices to conventional hearing aids for adults with hearing loss.
- Assessing an online audiological rehabilitation program: the Eriksholm Guide to Better Hearing.
- A Think Aloud evaluation of the usability, relevance and impact of mHealth tailored for communication partners
- An evaluation of the High Frequency Digit Triplet Test as a screening tool for early detection of hearing loss in individuals with Cystic Fibrosis
- Identifying the requirements for an internet-delivered multimedia audiology training package for healthcare and social care support workers
- Feasibility and effectiveness of Ida Telecare tools for NHS audiology patients (patient-centered care)
- A Delphi review to determine consensus on definitions for hearing devices
- The validation of a brief measure of social isolation in adults with mild-moderate hearing loss
- The development of a core outcome set for clinical trials of interventions for adults with sensorineural hearing loss
- The application of Rasch analysis to the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly
- Hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss: a cochrane review
- A qualitative exploration of the impact of mild and moderate hearing loss in adults
Listening & Cognition:
- Evaluation of Live Voice Auditory Training in a Randomised Controlled Trial of Existing Hearing Aid Users
- Optimising hearing-Related Communication for care Home Residents with Dementia (ORCHARD): a realist synthesis
- Understanding the relationship between hearing loss and mental health
- Otoprotective drugs/supplements for the prevention of aminglycoside-induced hearing loss
C2Hear Team WINNER Research Impact of the Year Award, Nottingham University NHS Trust Honours
- First prize for the overall best podium presentation awarded to Eithne Heffernan at the 33rd World Congress of Audiology 2016, Vancouver Canada.
- David Maidment: Building Experience and Skill Travel Scholarship (BESTS) (£1,992); The University of Nottingham's Graduate School Travel Prize (£465); School of Medicine Research Committee Travel and Conference Funding (£600); Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (£800).
- Eithne Heffernan: The University of Nottingham's Graduate School Travel Prize (£240).
Ear and Hearing Editors’ Award
- Eithne Heffernan: Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG) Domestic Conference Bursary (£100); The University of Nottingham School of Medicine Doctoral Programmes Committee Travel Prize (£300); PsyPAG Study Visit Bursary (£200).
2013 and 2014
Medipex NHS Innovation award finalists
The British Academy of Audiology (BAA) Team of the year
From left: Leena Kapilla, Michael Taylor, Alissa Baguely, Karenbir Bath, Melanie Ferguson, Joanne Rowe, Marien Brandreth, William Brassington, Helen Henshaw, James Henderson, Heather Wharrad, Holly Thomas, Helen Bastow, Annie Jones.