Assessing the evidence for the effectiveness of hearing aids in adults with mild to moderate hearing loss: a Cochrane Review

Chief investigator

Dr Melanie Ferguson

Study team

Dr Pádraig Kitterick
Dr Derek Hoare

Mr Mark Edmondson-Jones
Dr Fiona Barker (University of Surrey)


NIHR Nottingham Hearing BRU

Study period

2015 - present

Background and rationale

Hearing aids are routinely offered and fitted for people with hearing loss. However, there is little 'high-quality' evidence showing that hearing aids are an effective intervention. 

The review was prompted by two reasons. First, the last systematic review on hearing aids only included studies up until 2004 (Chisolm et al. 2007), and so the time is right to update this evidence. Second, potential changes to the funding of hearing aids in the NHS have highlighted the need for high-quality evidence to inform clinical decision-making.


Systematic reviews that include a meta-analysis provide the highest level of clinical evidence, with Cochrane reviews at the pinnacle, as they focus on well-conducted controlled trials.

This registered Cochrane Review is evaluating the effectiveness of hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults who have been prescribed at least one hearing aid. It will only include randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised studies.


The article search was carried out on the 15th January 2016 across a range of electronic databases. 2,518 abstracts have been identified for screening. We aim to publish the review by autumn 2016.

This Cochrane Review alongside a registered systematic review on alternative listening devices will provide up-to-date high-level evidence on the effectiveness of a wide range of listening devices for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.