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A randomized, controlled trial evaluating the short- and long-term effects of an internet-based aural rehabilitation program for hearing aid users implemented in a general clinical practice

Conference contribution
Authors Milijana Malmberg
Lunner Thomas
Kim R. Kähäri
Andersson Gerhard
Published in HEAL 2016 - HEARING ACROSS THE LIFESPAN. 2-4 Juni 2016, Cernobbio, Lake Como - Italy.
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Subject categories Audiology

Abstract

Aural 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. Internet as a complement to aural rehabilitation has been tested in different studies with promising results. However, until now the internet has not been applied clinically as a part of an aural rehabilitation, focusing on hearing aid users with persistent self-reported hearing problems. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an internet-based aural rehabilitation for hearing aid users from a clinical population. The eligibility criteria: patients who were 20–80 years old and who had conductive or sensorineural hearing loss of a mild to moderate degree, i.e., 20–60 dB HL pure-tone average (500, 1000, and 2000 Hz), who had completed a hearing aid fitting 3 months before the study began, who had residual self-reported hearing problems (The Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly ≥20 points), and who provided an informed consent to participate. 74 participants were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention group followed a five-week program that consisted of reading material, home training assignments, online and telephone interaction with an audiologist, and participation in a discussion forum. The control group only had access to reading material. The Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Communication Strategies Scale were used to measure the outcomes of this study; and were recorded before and directly after the intervention as well as 6 months post-intervention. The results support the clinical application of an internet-based aural rehabilitation for hearing aid users. The results will be presented.

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