Clinical Trial of the "Living Well With Hearing Loss Workshop"
This study evaluates whether a 2 hour group session, "The Living Well with Hearing Loss Workshop," can successfully teach hard of hearing people how to best use hearing aids and a variety of personal skills to compensate for the limitations of their impaired ears.
Hearing aids are essential to the rehabilitation of veterans who have acquired hearing loss. However, as with most prosthetic devices, the use of hearing aids does not result in fully normal functioning, and research shows that residual handicapping effects of hearing loss recur for many veterans. Hearing loss now affects 31 million Americans and is increasing in prevalence due to the "graying of America" and the noise-traumas of modern life, including modern warfare. VA spent over $119,000,000 on hearing aid technology for eligible veterans in FY 2004.Therefore, evidence-based rehabilitation treatments to alleviate avoidable hearing handicaps is a priority for VA and non-VA audiology. VA audiology clinics, however, are forced by high work loads to follow tight schedules for fitting hearing aids, with little time available to counsel veterans on skills for dealing effectively with the auditory and psychosocial challenges specific to their personal life style.
The proposed study will present and evaluate a single session, two hour long rehabilitation treatment model, "The Living Well with Hearing Loss Workshop." This cost-effective group intervention draws from research in psychology and behavioral medicine, as well as audiology, to teach specific skills that empower veterans to self-manage the adverse consequences of their hearing loss. The workshops will use multi-media presentations to train participating veterans in cognitive, behavioral and affective coping skills, while the patient-centered process focuses on collaborative problem-solving of hearing-loss-challenges participants present to their groups as personally important.
This is a dual site, randomized clinical trial, conducted by Co-PIs Dr. Turbin, a psychologist and Investigator at the NCRAR in the Portland, Oregon VAMC; and Dr. Abrams, a rehabilitative audiologist and Chief of Audiology Services at the Bay Pines, Florida VAMC. We will recruit a total of 310 veterans, all patients at the VAMC audiology clinics in Portland or Bay Pines, who are: 1) recipients of their first hearing aids, 2) have a mild to moderately-severe hearing loss in their better ear, and 3) present no other condition that would preclude their participation in age-appropriate interpersonal activities. Half of these veterans will be randomized to each of our two treatments: the Control condition of routine VA hearing-aid-rehabilitation-alone, and our Experimental Treatment condition of routine audiology services plus our workshop intervention. All subjects will complete three questionnaires as Pre-test measures before hearing aid fitting, eight weeks after hearing aid fitting as Re-tests and then four months later as Post-tests. An additional personality inventory will be administered only at baseline, yielding co-variates for interpreting possible within-group variance. Workshop participants will attend their session within one month of hearing aid fitting. The workshops will be facilitated by audiologists we will train in our empowering, patient-centered, coping-skills based model.
We hypothesize that our Workshop participants will show enhanced personal adjustment and use of communication strategies when compared to both baseline and to Control subjects, and further hypothesize that our Workshop participants will exceed our Controls in self reported hearing aid benefit at Re-test, and retain these differential treatment benefits at Post-test. The outcome data will enhance our understanding about the coping processes by which people respond to their hearing disability and its treatment by hearing-aids-alone, and about how well Workshop participants learn and utilize the skills taught in our treatment model. The findings from this research can foster continued development and implementation of evidence-based rehabilitation treatments and, if shown to be effective, our model can be replicated at audiology clinics, adapted for video or online training, or used by other health care professionals or even lay mentors to enhance the quality of life of people who are hard of hearing.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
The Living Well with Hearing Loss Workshop, hearing aid services
VA Medical Center, Bay Pines
Active, not recruiting
Department of Veterans Affairs
Results (where available)
- Source: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00323427
- Information obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov on July 15, 2010
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Hearing Loss, Noise-induced
Hearing loss due to exposure to explosive loud noise or chronic exposure to sound level greater than 85 dB. The hearing loss is often in the frequency range 4000-6000 hertz.
Hearing Impaired Persons
Persons with any degree of loss of hearing that has an impact on their activities of daily living or that requires special assistance or intervention.
Hearing Loss, Central
Hearing loss due to disease of the AUDITORY PATHWAYS (in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM) which originate in the COCHLEAR NUCLEI of the PONS and then ascend bilaterally to the MIDBRAIN, the THALAMUS, and then the AUDITORY CORTEX in the TEMPORAL LOBE. Bilateral lesions of the auditory pathways are usually required to cause central hearing loss. Cortical deafness refers to loss of hearing due to bilateral auditory cortex lesions. Unilateral BRAIN STEM lesions involving the cochlear nuclei may result in unilateral hearing loss.
Hearing Loss, Mixed Conductive-sensorineural
Hearing loss due to damage or impairment of both the conductive elements (HEARING LOSS, CONDUCTIVE) and the sensorineural elements (HEARING LOSS, SENSORINEURAL) of the ear.
Hearing Loss, Functional
Hearing loss without a physical basis. Often observed in patients with psychological or behavioral disorders.
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