METHOD: The study utilized a semi-structured interview with open-ended questions to obtain information about parents' experiences during the diagnosis period and their challenges when going through that process. In this study, a total of 16 parents of children who were diagnosed with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss and received intervention within three years at the time of the study participated. Ten of the children were cochlear implant users, and six were hearing aid users.
RESULTS: Thematic analysis was used to analyse themes generated from the data according to the study objective. Four main themes and 17 subthemes were identified from this study. The four main themes were 1) Parents' emotion; 2) Parental knowledge; 3) Others; 4) Profesional services. Challenges that parents faced often include emotional behaviours such as feeling guilty and devastated during the diagnosis, lack of information-sharing from healthcare givers, lack of knowledge on childhood hearing loss among parents, support from families, seek for a second opinion, worry about others' acceptance, longer time for diagnosis to confirm, late referral to other related profesionals and no priority for the appointment.
CONCLUSION: Emotion is identified as the biggest challenge faced by parents in the process of diagnosis for their children with hearing loss. Hence, management of parental emotion needs to be emphasized by health profesionals as it influences the acceptance of parents towards their child's diagnosis.
METHOD: Articles published between 2000 and 2016 were searched in PUBMED and EBSCO databases.
RESULTS: Thirty-two articles were included in the final review. Most studies with adult participants showed that SMNR has no effect on speech intelligibility. Positive results were reported for acceptance of background noise, preference, and listening effort. Studies of school-aged children were consistent with the findings of adult studies. No study with infants or young children of under 5 years old was found. Recent studies on noise-reduction systems not yet available in wearable hearing aids have documented benefits of noise reduction on memory for speech processing for older adults.
CONCLUSIONS: This evidence supports the use of SMNR for adults and school-aged children when the aim is to improve listening comfort or reduce listening effort. Future research should test SMNR with infants and children who are younger than 5 years of age. Further development, testing, and clinical trials should be carried out on algorithms not yet available in wearable hearing aids. Testing higher cognitive level for speech processing and learning of novel sounds or words could show benefits of advanced signal processing features. These approaches should be expanded to other populations such as children and younger adults. Implications for rehabilitation The review provides a quick reference for students and clinicians regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of SMNR in wearable hearing aids. This information is useful during counseling session to build a realistic expectation among hearing aid users. Most studies in the adult population suggest that SMNR may provide some benefits to adult listeners in terms of listening comfort, acceptance of background noise, and release of cognitive load in a complex listening condition. However, it does not improve speech intelligibility. Studies that examined SMNR in the paediatric population suggest that SMNR may benefit older school-aged children, aged between 10 and 12 years old. The evidence supports the use of SMNR for adults and school-aged children when the aim is to improve listening comfort or reduce listening effort.
DESIGN: A 2 x 2 factorial randomized controlled trial design. Two hundred forty new adult patients (60 in each group) were randomized to: information (info) only; info + prompt; info + plan; or info + prompt + plan. All participants received treatment as usual in addition to I-PLAN components, which were provided in a sealed envelope at the end of the hearing aid fitting consultation. Participants in the prompt group were instructed to use their hearing aid box as a physical prompt to remind them to use the device. Participants in the plan group were instructed to write an action plan to encourage them to turn their intentions into action. Participants, audiologists, and researchers were blinded to group allocation. The primary outcome was self-reported proportion of time hearing aids were used in situations where they had listening difficulties. Secondary outcomes were hearing aid use derived from data logging, self-reported hearing aid benefit, self-reported self-regulation, and habit. Outcomes were measured at 6-week post-fitting.
RESULTS: Contrary to predictions, participants who received the prompt component reported using their hearing aid less than participants without the prompt (p = 0.03; d = 0.24). The mean proportion of time hearing aid were used was 73.4% of the time in the prompt group compared with 79.9% of the time in the no prompt group. Participants who received the plan component reported using their hearing aids more frequently than those who did not receive the plan (Meanplan = 81.0% vs Meannoplan = 71.8% of the time; p = 0.01; d = 0.34). Receiving both prompt and plan components did not change self-reported proportion of time hearing aids were used but data-logging use was significantly reduced. The prompt reduced self-regulation of hearing aid use compared with the no prompt (p = 0.04; d = 0.28), while the plan promoted stronger hearing aid use habits than the no plan group (p = 0.02; d = 0.30).
CONCLUSIONS: Audiologists should consider using action plans to promote hearing aid use. Despite the decrease in hearing aid use when using the hearing aid box as a physical prompt, hearing aid use was still high (≈70% of the time). The hearing aid box may have slightly reduced hearing aid use by undermining self-regulation. Participants may have delegated responsibility for hearing aid use to the prompt. Subsequent studies should evaluate different prompts and test the long-term benefit of the plan on hearing aid use via habit formation.