Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 4, 2013
   Pages 585 — 598

Abstract — Hearing aid effectiveness after aural rehabilitation: Individual versus group trial results

Margaret P. Collins, PhD, CCC-A;1–2* Chuan-Fen Liu, PhD;1,3 Leslie Taylor, PhD;1 Pamela E. Souza, PhD, CCC-A; 4–5 Bevan Yueh, MD, MPH1–3,6–7

1Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; Departments of 2Medicine, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery; and 3Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 4Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; 5Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 6Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; 7Surgery and Perioperative Care Service, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA

Abstract — We designed this noninferiority randomized trial to determine (1) if group hearing aid fitting visits and group hearing aid follow-up visits were at least as effective as individual visits in terms of hearing-related function (measured with the Inner Effectiveness of Auditory Rehabilitation [EAR] scale) and adherence, and (2) if group visits were less costly over the 6 mo postfitting period. For 644 participants randomized to receive their hearing aid visits in an individual or group format at the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, 6 mo outcomes showed no significant differences in Inner EAR scores between individual and group fitting (p = 0.53) or follow-up (p = 0.11), or in the number of hours per day hearing aids were worn between individual and group fitting (p = 0.90) or follow-up (p = 0.24). We found significantly higher cost for individual compared with group fitting (p < 0.001) and follow-up (p < 0.001). We conclude that outcomes for group hearing aid fitting and hearing aid follow-up visits were not inferior to individual hearing aid fitting and follow-up visits, with group fitting and follow-up visits yielding cost savings.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00260663, –The Hearing Aid Effectiveness After Aural Rehabilitation (HEAR) Trial–; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00260663

Key words: education, group visits, health resources, health services research, hearing aids, hearing loss, outcome assessment, patient satisfaction, rehabilitation of hearing impaired, Veterans.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 4
This article and any supplementary materials should be cited as follows:
Collins MP, Liu CF, Taylor L, Souza PE, Yueh B. Hearing aid effectiveness after aural rehabilitation: Individual versus group trial results. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(4): 585–98.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2012.03.0049
 

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