Loughborough University
What s in a name A systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of non-medical amplification devices in adults with mild and moder.pdf (1.72 MB)

What’s in a name? A systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of non-medical amplification devices in adults with mild and moderate hearing losses

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-07, 16:02 authored by David MaidmentDavid Maidment, Kento Nakano, Rebecca Bennett, Maria Goodwin, Melanie Ferguson

Objective: To assess non-medical amplification devices in adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and the impact of device features on outcomes.

Design: A prospectively registered systematic review.

Study sample: Ten studies evaluating personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), and four evaluating smartphone amplification applications (or apps). Devices were classified as “premium” or “basic” based on the number of compression channels (≥16 or <16, respectively).

Results: Meta-analyses showed that premium PSAPs improved speech intelligibility in noise performance compared to unaided, whereas basic PSAPs and smartphone apps did not. Premium PSAPs performed better than basic hearing aids. Premium hearing aids performed better than premium and basic PSAPs, smartphone apps, and basic hearing aids. Although data could not be pooled, similar findings were also found for quality of life, listening ability, cognition, feasibility, and adverse effects.

Conclusions: Premium PSAPs appear to be an effective non-medical amplification device for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Given the overlap in features available, it may be that this is a key consideration when drawing comparisons between devices, rather than the device being named a PSAP or hearing aid. Nevertheless, the extent to which PSAPs are effective without audiological input remains to be determined.



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International Journal of Audiology


Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

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Dr David Maidment. Deposit date: 15 February 2024