Audiology Visits After Screening for Hearing Loss: An RCT
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
|Official Title:||Audiology Visits After Screening for Hearing Loss: An RCT|
- Better diagnois of hearing problems
- Improved quality of life
|Study Completion Date:||June 2005|
Hearing impairment is one of the most common disabilities in veterans. The decreased ability to communicate is troubling in itself, but the strong association of hearing loss with functional decline and depression adds further to the burden on the hearing-impaired. Although hearing amplification improves quality of life, hearing evaluations are offered infrequently to older patients. Only 25 percent of patients with aidable hearing loss receive treatment. Up to 30 percent of patients who receive hearing aids do not use them. We contend that an effective formal screening program should identify hearing-impaired patients who are motivated to seek evaluation and who derive benefit from treatment.
The first specific aim is to determine if formal screening programs for hearing loss can increase visits to audiologists. The second specific aim is to determine which specific screening strategy leads to the most frequent audiology visits.
Our four-armed randomized clinical trial compares three screening strategies (physiologic testing, a self-report questionnaire, and combined use of both physiologic and self-report testing), against a control arm (usual care). Physiologic testing was done with the Audioscope, a portable otoscope that emits tones from selected frequencies at a variety of loudness levels. The self-report questionnaire was the screening version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory of the Elderly questionnaire (HHIE-S), which quantifies the social and emotional handicap from hearing loss. Patients aged 50 and older who did not wear hearing aids were recruited from the outpatient clinics at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. Only patients who were eligible for VA-issued hearing aids were enrolled in this trial. Patients randomized to the control arm were not screened. Patients screened with both the Audioscope and HHIE-S were referred to the audiology service for evaluation if either of the tests was positive. All patients, regardless of screening status, were followed to determine how many patients in each arm subsequently visit an audiologist.
The primary outcome is the percentage of patients who contact the audiology service within 6 months of the date of screening. Secondary outcomes include: 1) the number of cases of hearing loss detected; 2) the number of dispensed hearing aids; 3) self-rated communication ability; 4) hearing-related quality of life; and 5) rates of hearing aid adherence. Costs of screening and subsequent treatment were collected. The study is not powered to determine cost-effectiveness, but to pilot calculations of the costs to implement the screening program will be made. An intention-to-screen analysis will be used to minimize bias due to subject self-selection.
Enrollment and follow-up is complete. Outcomes data are currently being analyzed.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00105742
|United States, Washington|
|VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle Division, Seattle, WA|
|Seattle, Washington, United States, 98108|
|Principal Investigator:||Bevan Yueh, MD MPH||VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle Division, Seattle, WA|