- Improving language skills in children with hearing loss by developing a parent-delivered training programme based on theory-of-mind skills
- Improving patient experience, service access and outcomes for Deaf adults who use British Sign Language
- Improved face-worn PPE designs for use by the public and professionals to reduce audio-visual communication difficulties
- ‘My Hearing Loss Explained’ evaluation
- Communication during remote healthcare appointments
- Can an established fully remote service provision model for adult hearing care be implemented within the NHS system? A feasibility study
- The audiology, learning disability and autism project (ALDAP)
- Pragmatics and social communication: creation of a national resource
- The evidence base for adult hearing aid services
Improving language skills in deaf children by developing a parent-delivered training programme based on theory-of-mind skills
The Libyan Government
Ibtihal Sambah, Antje Heinrich, Helen Chilton and Cathy Adams
In the UK alone, more than 45,000 children are deaf. Hearing loss, especially when it occurs early in life, can greatly affect development – not only of speech and language but also cognitive and social development.
One cognitive function that is closely intertwined with language development and is fundamentally important for the social functioning is theory of mind (ToM). Many details of the relationship between ToM development and hearing loss are still unclear.
This project investigates potentially important factors such as age of identification of deafness, severity of loss, service provision, and others to the development of ToM skills, and explores potential interventions.
Improving patient experience, service access and outcomes for Deaf adults who use British Sign Language
Manchester NIHR BRC in Hearing Health.
Celia Hulme, Alys Young, Kevin Munro and Katherine Rogers
Improving patient experience, service access and outcomes for Deaf adults who use British Sign Language. Anecdotally, there appears to be an increase in the use of hearing aid services and little evidence exists of BSL users’ experiences.
This project will collect evidence to identify what makes an effective adult hearing aid service from a BSL user perspective. The results may impact guidelines that will improve service quality, patient satisfaction, impact policies and audiology training.
Improved face-worn PPE designs for use by the public and professionals to reduce audio-visual communication difficulties
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Michael Stone, Gabrielle Saunders, Alys Young, Kevin Munro and Emanuele Perugia in collaboration with University of Salford
Personal-protective (respiratory) equipment (PPE) is the first line defence against passage of injurious particles, such as viruses, into the lungs.
Traditionally, PPE has been designed to protect the wearer, with little attention paid to the need for them to talk while wearing the PPE. This additional use requirement has been identified as causing stress to both talker and listener, especially if the listener is hearing impaired.
We are working, along with our partners in Salford, to design ‘communication aware’ PPE to reduce these stresses. Nanofunctional materials developed in Manchester are also being incorporated to revolutionise the filtration method.
‘My Hearing Loss Explained’ evaluation
Gabrielle Saunders, Melanie Lough, Helen Whiston
Does the Ida tool ‘My Hearing Loss Explained’ result in improved understanding of the consequences of hearing loss among older hearing impaired individuals seeking help for their hearing for the first time?
In addition to being a diagnostic tool, the audiogram is used as the basis for explaining hearing loss and its consequences to the patient. However, patients find the information it provides unintuitive and difficult to relate to the problems they are having.
The Ida Institute has developed a tool for helping audiologists explain hearing loss to their patients that purports to be more user-friendly and understandable. The purpose of this study is to find out whether this is the case.
We will do this by comparing (a) the vocabulary used by audiologists and (b) the patient’s understanding and recall of information, when hearing loss is explained using a standard audiogram versus the Ida tool.
Communication during remote healthcare appointments
Royal National Institute for the Deaf
In order to limit transmission of COVID-19, many healthcare appointments are being conducted by telephone or video call instead of in-person at a medical clinic. This raises concerns about communication between the healthcare professional and the patient, particularly for people with hearing loss, and who rely on alternative modes of communication such as Sign Language.
In this study, we are surveying members of the British public about communication during remote healthcare appointments. We are asking about hearing ability, aspects of satisfaction, trust, difficulties encountered, and general opinions about the appointment.
Can an established fully remote service provision model for adult hearing care be implemented within the NHS system? A feasibility study
Lively, Resound, Oticon, MFT
Gabrielle Saunders, Melanie Lough, Helen Whiston, Kevin Munro
Hearing aids can be fitted using a fully remote care pathway in which hearing is evaluated, hearing aids are fitted, and follow-up and support are provided – all via teleaudiology provided by an audiologist and skilled technological support technician.
In this study, we are examining the feasibility of incorporating and implementing this service provision model. Specifically we are determining whether (a) audiologists and patients are willing to use and accept it, (b) it can be implemented within the NHS, and (c) it yields acceptable clinical outcomes from the perspective of audiologists and patients in terms of cost, convenience and satisfaction.
The audiology, learning disability and autism project (ALDAP)
Health Education England South of England Intellectual Disabilities Programme
Siobhán Brennan, Marianne Day, Shanice Thomas
There are well documented inequalities in accessing healthcare for adults and children with intellectual disabilities and for autistic adults and children. These inequalities are also evident in the accessibility of audiological services.
The reasons however within the context of audiological care are not clear. This project aims to use focus groups, interviews and questionnaires to explore the perspectives of individuals with lived experience, their families and professionals in the field on what barriers to audiological care exist for these populations and possible solutions.
Pragmatics and social communication: creation of a national resource
National Deaf Children’s Society
Helen Chilton, Jac Gaile, Cathy Adams, Anna Theakston
This project investigates the views of Teachers of the Deaf and parents of deaf children in order to create a national resource which can be used to support the development of pragmatic and social communication skills in deaf children.
The evidence base for adult hearing aid services
Manchester NIHR BRC in Hearing Health
Ibrahim Almufarrij, Harvey Dillon and Kevin Munro (Piers Dawes, David Moore, and Michael Stone)
In the UK, hearing assessment and management involves referral from a general practitioner, resulting in several face-to-face clinical-based appointments. However, this takes up valuable clinical time, and it is unclear if this leads to a better outcome for the patient.
The use of technologies to remotely assess and manage hearing loss can potentially increase access to and reduce the load on hearing health services. This project aims to evaluate the outcomes of current practices and assess new developments in adult hearing aid services.