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Teleaudiology hearing aid fitting follow-up consultations for adults: single blinded crossover randomised control trial and cohort studies

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journal contribution
posted on 26.10.2020, 12:10 by Karina F. M. Tao, Tais de C. Moreira, Dona M. P. Jayakody, De Wet Swanepoel, Christopher G. Brennan-Jones, Lize Coetzee, Robert H. Eikelboom

To evaluate and compare the effectiveness and quality of standard face-to-face and teleaudiology hearing aid fitting follow-up consultations and blended services for adult hearing aid users.

Fifty-six participants were randomly allocated to two equal groups, with equal numbers of new and experienced users. One standard and one teleaudiology follow-up consultation were delivered by an audiologist, the latter assisted by a facilitator. The order was reversed for the second group. Outcome measurement tools were applied to assess aspects of participants’ communication, fitting (physical, sensorial), quality of life, and service. Cross-sectional and longitudinal outcomes were analysed.

Most participants presented with moderate, sloping, and symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. The duration of teleaudiology (42.96 ± 2.73 min) was equivalent to face-to-face consultations (41.25 ± 2.61 min). All modes of service delivery significantly improved outcomes for communication, fitting, and quality of life (p > 0.05). Satisfaction for both consultation modes was high, although significantly greater with standard consultations. The mode and order of delivery of the consultations did not influence the outcomes.

Teleaudiology hearing aid follow-up consultations can deliver significant improvements, and do not differ from standard consultations. Blended services also deliver significant improvements. Satisfaction can be negatively impacted by technical or human-related issues.

Funding

This work was supported by CAPES foundation, Process number BEX 13410/13-0, Science without borders program, Brazil (for Karina FM Tao), Ear Science Institute Australia, Perth, Australia, and Telethon Kids Institute (Ear Health), Perth, Australia.

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