Professor Kevin Munro
Director of the Manchester Centre for Audiology
University of Manchester
What is the study about?
Each year in the UK about 355,000 adults are fit with hearing aids for the first time. We know that hearing aids improve communication and quality of life for in adults experiencing hearing loss. However, adjusting to hearing aids can be difficult and many patients may not use their hearing aids as recommended, or at all.
Although there are guidelines in place to support first-time hearing aid patients, the way in which the support is provided can vary between hearing clinics, which makes assessing the effectiveness of the current guidelines difficult. We want to find out whether a defined four-step hearing aid follow-up plan is as effective as the current NHS guideline care for hearing aid patients, their families and best value for the NHS.
Participants will be recruited at audiology clinics across the UK. Each clinic will be randomly assigned to follow-up hearing aid patients using current NHS guidelines or the FAMOUS four-step support strategy. This means that all patients seen during the time the trial is active at their clinic will all be followed up in the same way. All patients who are fitted with hearing aids will be contacted at 12 weeks and 12 months after fitting, to complete questionnaires to help us understand their usage and experience with the hearing aids.
As well as the patient questionnaires, we will use anonymous data from routine clinic records to understand if there is a difference in reported hearing aid use and clinic attendance between the two groups.
Who can take part in the study?
- Adults (≥18 years); offered hearing aids for first time.
- Adults offered an auditory implant of any kind
- Adults offered non-conventional hearing aids e.g. that re-route sound between ears.
What is being tested in the study?
We will test if a four-step follow-up and monitoring plan for hearing aid users has an impact on recorded daily hearing aid use.
What is this being compared to?
What are we trying to find out?
To determine the effects of intervention and compare to usual care on self-reported hearing aid use 12 months after initial hearing aid fitting.
How many patients do we need?
FAMOUS will recruit a minimum of 23400 participants from 36 NHS hearing service clinics in the UK.
National Institute for Health and Care Research - Health Technology Assessment (NIHR - HTA)