A randomised controlled feasibility trial of the Active Communication Education programme plus hearing-aid provision versus hearing-aid provision alone (ACE To HEAR)

Age-related hearing-impairment is a major world-wide public health issue for ageing populations, with many having a mild or worse hearing-impairment, progressively worsening with age. The most common treatment is fitting of a hearing-aid and use of them is linked to many positive outcomes including improvements in communication, social aspects and quality-of-life. Despite this, hearing-aid use in the UK and elsewhere is remarkably low. Reasons for non-use are many and complex.

There is some evidence that Active Communication Education (ACE) and similar programmes improve communication function and quality-of-life and these outcomes are enhanced when delivered in conjunction with a hearing-aid. The ACE programme trains participants to develop solutions to their own specific difficult communication scenarios that commonly lead to activity limitations and participation restrictions.

Therefore this study aims to establish the feasibility of delivering ACE to unsuccessful new hearing-aid users three-months post-fitting. This will inform any large scale randomised controlled trial designed to evaluate whether ACE would be a cost effective and acceptable way of increasing quality-of-life through improving communication and hearing-aid use when compared to hearing aid fitting alone.

We aim to recruit 112 participants over a 12 month period and allocate them to either treatment as usual or to attend five sessions of ACE. In addition we would like one significant other for each participant to take part.

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Funding

Funder (s): Reseach for Patient Beneft (RfPB) 
Start Date: 1 February 2017
Expiry Date: 31 January 2019

Members

Internal Staff

External Collaborators

Trials and Statistics Research in the Department of Health Sciences