C2Hear: Research and future development plans
National Institute for Health Research
September 2015 - ongoing
Over the last 8 years there has been a dramatic increase in internet use in 55-74 year olds, which continues to increase year-on-year. The next logical step in our C2Hear research is to develop mobile device-enabled video tutorials (or reusable learning objects, RLOs). This will enable tailoring to meet individuals’ needs and increased user-interactivity. We envisage online delivery will enhance learning and improve benefits to users.
We are currently developing C2Hear for the internet and mobile technologies, such as tablets and smartphones. C2Hear Online is freely available and was launched for use by audiology departments, hearing aid users, their family members and friends, as well as the general public in November 2015. To view C2Hear Online, visit our YouTube channel. For those who cannot access the internet easily, C2Hear is currently available on DVD. To order, go to our Ordering C2Hear page.
For more information on hearing healthcare through the internet, please read this article by Dr Melanie Ferguson.
Our overall aim is to use online and mobile technologies to increase awareness of the consequences of hearing loss in hearing aid users and those who they communicate with, non-audiological health and social care practitioners, and the general public.
The following areas of research are already under development:
Study 1: The development and evaluation of mobile-device enabled videos for family members and friends (communication partners)
- Communication partners of hearing aid users include spouses, partners, sons/daughters, grandchildren, and carers. They play an important role in adult auditory rehabilitation. Our preliminary data suggests that communication partners underestimate the difficulties experienced by people with hearing loss. Conversely, they overestimate the benefits people with hearing loss might gain from using hearing aids. Thus, there is a mismatch between perceptions of hearing aids and communication.
- Focus groups have obtained the views and perspectives of hearing aid users and communication partners on many aspects of hearing-related issues. Many communication partners were supportive of having videos (RLOs) developed specifically for them.
- We are in the process of developing RLOs for communication partners and plan to evaluate them using semi-structured interviews.
Study 2: The development and evaluation of individualised mobile-enabled videos for hearing aid users
- We aim to develop tailored videos (RLOs) that meet the individual needs of hearing aid users to personalise the RLOs. In addition, the RLOs will incorporate greater interactivity to enhance learning and include a means to monitor progress in use of hearing aids.
- Grant funding is currently being sought for this project.
- A feasibility study on the impact of early delivery of an educational intervention (C2Hear) on perceived self-efficacy and readiness towards hearing aids. Rachel Gomez, Aston University, Scientist Training Programme (2015/16).
- Exploring the views of audiologists on the effectiveness of C2Hear for better information retention and knowledge on hearing aids for first time hearing aid users. Tasnim Hajat, De Montfort University, Audiology BSc (Hons) (2015/16).
- Providing interactive audio-visual training for staff within care homes to improve hearing-related knowledge and care. Laura Finegold, Aston University, Scientist Training Programme (2013/15).
- Does training care staff using Reusable Learning-Objects improve their hearing aid practical skills, understanding and perception of the importance of hearing aids? Tom Rocks, De Montfort University, Audiology BSc (Hons) (2012/13).
- The effectiveness of additional information booklet in first-time hearing aid users. Zoë Smith, De Montfort University, Audiology BSc (Hons) (2011/12).
- Assessment of Information Retention after first hearing aid fitting appointment: a free-recall questionnaire. Feryale El Molla, De Montfort University, Audiology BSc (Hons) (2011/12).