Audiologic rehabilitation aims to improve communication for people with hearing impairment. Education is widely regarded as an integral part of rehabilitation, but the effect of the delivery method of an educational program on the experience of hearing problems has rarely been investigated in controlled trials.
The purpose of this study was to examine the short-term effects of complementing an educational program for hearing aid users with telephone consultations, delivered through weekly discussions with the subjects about information obtained from a book on hearing and hearing aids.
This study used a randomized, controlled design.
In total, 69 hearing aid users were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 33) or a control group (n = 36).
The intervention group had access to a book and received weekly topic-based reading instructions related to the different chapters of the book. Five telephone calls were made to the members of the intervention group. During the calls, an audiologist discussed new information with the participant as needed. The control participants also read the book, but they did not discuss the contents of the book with a professional.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:
The Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (IOI-HA) were used to measure the outcomes of this study.
Participants in the intervention group had a reduction in self-reported hearing handicap, while there were no significant changes in the control group. In the intervention group, 45% of the participants showed an improvement of ≥36% on the HHIE, while only 17% of the control group showed an improvement of ≥36%. There were also improvements on the HADS total and the depression subscale for the intervention group. No changes occurred on the IOI-HA.
Reading about hearing and hearing aids can reduce the hearing handicap and reported anxiety in hearing aid users. In this study, discussing the content of the book that was provided with a professional during weekly telephone consultations and having weekly home assignments further improved emotional well-being, as demonstrated by the HHIE (emotional scale) and HADS (depression scale), but these activities had no effect on hearing aid outcomes as measured by the IOI-HA.
American Academy of Audiology , 2011. Vol. 22, no 10, 654-662 p.