New research published today (25 September 2017) by a team from the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, led by Dr Melanie Ferguson, shows the life-changing impact of hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Dr Ferguson’s research, “Hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults”, published by the internationally-renowned Cochrane Collaboration*, concludes that using hearing aids has a large beneficial effect in enabling people with hearing loss to take part in everyday situations and to listen to other people. Hearing aids also have a positive benefit on the person’s physical and mental health.
Dr Ferguson said “Our research shows that there is good quality evidence that hearing aids are effective in enabling people to listen better and to participate fully in everyday activities. There is also evidence that there are benefits to their general health from using hearing aids. So for the first time we are able to reassure people with mild or moderate hearing loss who wish to try hearing aids that hearing aids should be offered to them, and that using hearing aids have a number of proven benefits on their quality of life.”
The Hearing Loss and Deafness Alliance, welcomed the research and said the quality of research provides certainty for people with hearing loss about the most effective support for them: “Cochrane systematic reviews are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. This Cochrane review on hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss shows that an objective, transparent and accountable review of the evidence finds hearing aids are effective for mild to moderate hearing loss.”
The Alliance expects that NHS commissioners will take into account this highest standard of evidence confirming the effectiveness of hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss when reviewing services.
*Evidence was reviewed from all of the available clinical trials worldwide to determine how much hearing aids benefit people’s everyday life and their health. The studies Dr Ferguson and her colleagues, in particular Dr Padraig Kitterick and Dr Derek Hoare, reviewed involved over 800 studies in which the participants had a mean age in individual studies ranging between 69 and 83 years. Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human healthcare and health policy, and are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources.