Treatment and management
- Improving quality of life through addressing communication needs for people in residential care living with dementia
- Sound level perceptual differences between musicians and non-musicians: Is there a role for the vestibular system?
- The role of misidentification of own speech in developmental stuttering
- SEQaBOO Manchester: Sequencing a baby for an optimal outcome
- Hearing aid outcomes assessed using ecological momentary assessment
- Improving the testing and remediation of children with listening difficulties
- Innovative psychological intervention to reduce stigma in hearing health trial (INSPIRES)
- Follow-up and structured monitoring for adults offered a NHS hearing aid for the first time (FAMOUS)
- Timing of primary surgery for cleft palate (TOPS)
- Caring for hearing aid use in babies (CHerUB)
Improving quality of life through addressing communication needs for people in residential care living with dementia
Hannah Cross, Rebecca Millman, Chris Armitage, Piers Dawes, Iracema Leroi
Dementia and hearing loss are common impairments among older people living in care homes. Many residents live with both which often interact and exacerbate adverse outcomes, including communication impairments, social isolation, anxiety and poor quality of life. It is therefore important to identify and provide the appropriate support for such residents.
This project aims to address this issue by developing and trialling an intervention to optimise the provision of hearing loss support for care home residents. To achieve this aim we will work directly with residents, their relatives and care home staff.
Sound level perceptual differences between musicians and non-musicians: Is there a role for the vestibular system?
Study Abroad Program of the Ministry of National Education, Turkey
Ozgenur Cetinbag, Karolina Kluk, Sam Couth, Chris Plack
This PhD project investigates the differences in sound level perception between musicians and non-musicians, and the possible contribution of the vestibular system to these differences.
Given the anatomical proximity of the auditory and vestibular organs, it is thought that they are related to each other (Todd and Cody, 2000). Musicians could differ from non-musicians in their perception of sound level such as music level-preference and loudness of pure tones.
This could be caused by more musical experience and enhanced auditory attention, and it is possible that the vestibular system contributes to these differences in perception (Liu et al., 2018).
The role of misidentification of own speech in developmental stuttering
Economic and Social Research Council (CASE Studentship with CASE partner Interacoustics)
Max Gattie, Karolina Kluk, Elena Lieven, Peter Howell
The 80% recovery rate from childhood stuttering (Yairi, 2013) is not fully understood. Many studies indicate abnormal auditory function in stuttering (Bloodstein, 1995). We hypothesise that misidentification of self-generated vocalisation (SGV) contributes to stuttering.
There is no widely accepted mechanism for identification of SGV. However, the vestibular system can detect sound and since it is close to the larynx it may thus be able to detect the high sound pressures in the larynx during SGV. We hypothesise that the vestibular system contributes to identification of SGV and we will test this hypothesis using vestibular evoked myogenic potentials and auditory brainstem responses.
Sequencing a baby for an optimal outcome (SEQaBOO Manchester)
Manchester NIHR BRC in Hearing Health.
Andrea Short, Cynthia C. Morton, William Newman, Iain Bruce, Cath Wright, Martin O’Driscoll, Rachel Ward, Rachel Boyd, Veronica Kennedy, Adam Walker, Kathryn Lewis, Gina Wilkinson, Sobia Sheikh, Steven Woods
SEQaBOO will investigate how genomic information may benefit and assist in providing care and management of newborns who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The study will explore the initial and evolving opinions of parents toward genomic sequencing for newborns who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH), and will consider how genomic sequencing results, alongside standard-of-care management for newborns who are DHH, can have a clinical impact through annual surveys that will explore general health, speech and language development.
Hearing aid outcomes assessed using ecological momentary assessment
Gabrielle Saunders, Melanie Lough, Helen Whiston
Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involves individuals completing short assessments on a smartphone in real-time in their natural environment. It has potential as a hearing aid outcome measure because it overcomes the recall bias and limited contextual resolution of standard questionnaires.
For hearing aid research, it has the added advantage that an EMA assessment can be time-linked to a data-logged analysis of the sound environment. In this study we are (a) comparing the sensitivity of EMA with that of standard self-report questionnaires, (b) assessing outcomes with two models of Oticon hearing aid, and (c) assessing users’ opinions and experiences with EMA.
Improving the testing and remediation of children with listening difficulties
Dual Award Programme – the Universities of Manchester and Melbourne
Harvey Dillon, Antje Heinrich, Helen Glyde, Kelly Burgoyne
A range of deficits can cause children difficulty in understanding speech in challenging situations, like classrooms. Currently, it is difficult to determine the cause of these difficulties, which could be auditory processing, speech processing, language processing, or cognition.
Using a tri-level test battery, which combines top-level speech perception ability, mid-level phoneme identification ability, low-level acoustic resolution task, and cognitive test scores, we aim to differentiate between causes of the observed listening deficit.
A collaboration with the University of Melbourne enables us to assess both typically-developing children and also clinically-identified children. The ultimate goal is to implement this test-battery into clinical practice.
Innovative psychological intervention to reduce stigma in hearing health trial (INSPIRES)
Hearing Industry Research Consortium
Christopher Armitage, Kevin Munro and Piers Dawes
The overarching aim of our ongoing research programme is to understand why hearing aid uptake is both low and slow, and why outcomes are variable. One likely cause is that hearing loss and hearing aids are perceived negatively by society.
Stigma arises from a complicated mix of opinions in society, the person’s psychological make-up and specific features of the condition, all of which can be perceived as threatening. The aim is to investigate if self-affirmation can improve public attitudes to hearing loss/aids and make people with hearing loss more likely to seek help.
Follow-up and structured monitoring for adults offered a NHS hearing aid for the first time (FAMOUS)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Kevin Munro on behalf of the FAMOUS team and BRC partners
The follow-up and monitoring of new adult hearing aid users is ill-defined and non-evidence based. The government, via the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme (NIHR131159), has funded a national project to address this gap-in-knowledge. The aim is to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a follow-up and monitoring intervention compared to usual care.
The project involves recruitment of a total of around 3,600 new adult hearing aid users across as many as 40 NHS audiology services. The project is a collaboration between the three NIHR Biomedical Research centres with a hearing research theme (Manchester, Nottingham and University College London Hospital).
Timing of primary surgery for cleft palate (TOPS)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Kevin Munro on behalf of the TOPS team
The success of cleft palate surgery in the early months of life is crucial for feeding, hearing, dental development and facial growth. The aim of this international, two-arm, parallel, randomised controlled trial is to compare palate surgery at 6 months versus 12 months of age.
Outcomes are measures at one, three and five years old, with the primary outcome being insufficient velopharyngeal function at five years. The trial is funded by the US National Institutes of Health, is registered with the ClinicalTrial.gov (NCT00993551) and involves partners across Europe and South America.
Caring for hearing aid use in babies (CHerUB)
National Deaf Children’s Society
Kevin Munro, Ciara Kelly, Anisa Visram, Chris Armitage and Helen Chilton
For infants with a hearing loss, consistent use of hearing aids from an early age is associated with better language outcomes. Achieving consistent hearing aid use is not easy and many infants do not wear their hearing aids as often as necessary.
The aims are to:
- Develop a better understanding of the barriers to infant hearing aid use.
- Identify how best to support families.
- Develop an intervention to achieve optimal infant hearing aid use.