An application of the medical research council's guidelines for evaluating complex interventions: A usability study assessing smartphone-connected listening devices in adults with hearing loss
journal contributionposted on 14.01.2019, 10:08 authored by David MaidmentDavid Maidment, Melanie Ferguson
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to provide an example of the Medical Research Council's guidelines for evaluating complex health care interventions in the context of smartphone-connected listening devices in adults with hearing loss. Method: Twenty existing hearing aid users trialed 1 of the following smartphone-connected listening devices: made-for-smartphone hearing aids, a personal sound amplification product, and a smartphone "hearing aid" application used with either wireless or wired earphones. Following 2 weeks of use in their everyday lives, participants completed self-report outcome measures. Results: Relative to conventional hearing aids, self-reported use, benefit, and satisfaction were higher, and residual disability was lower for made-for-smartphone hearing aids. The converse was found for the other smartphone-connected listening devices trialed. Similarly, overall usability was judged to be "above average" for the made-for-smartphone hearing aids, but "below average" for the remaining devices. Conclusions: This developmental work, guided by the Medical Research Council's framework, lays the foundation for feasibility and pilot studies, leading to high-quality research assessing the effectiveness of smartphone-connected listening devices. This future evidence is necessary to guide health care commissioners and policymakers when considering new service delivery models for adults living with hearing loss.
This research was funded by the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre
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