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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

A Systematic Review of the Nonacoustic Benefits of Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids

Johnson, C. E., Danhauer, J. L., et al. (2006).
Ear Hear, 27(6), 703-713.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of controlled trials, cohort studies, case series, case-controlled or cross-sectional studies investigating the nonacoustic benefits of bone-anchored hearing aids for adults with hearing loss.

Question(s) Addressed:

What are the nonacoustic benefits of bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA)?

Population: Patients who use BAHA

Intervention/Assessment: BAHA

Number of Studies Included: 7

Years Included: Not stated



  • New hearing aid users showed greater nonacoustic benefits after BAHAs were used. (p. 709)
  • Experienced hearing aid users showed mixed reviews of nonacoustic benefits before and after BAHAs (p. 710)
  • The Glasgow Benefit Inventory (GBI) "can only be used to assess patient outcomes after the intervention has already occurred [and] completion of a retrospective questionnaire is difficult for patients because it requires them to recall life before the intervention, which may be inaccurate." (p. 711)
  • "The available generic health-related quality of life (QOL) measures are likely not sensitive enough regarding communication problems. Moreover, there is a lack of appropriate QOL outcome measures relevant to the unique nature of the BAHA and preimplant disease status of its users." (p. 711)
  • "Most of the included studies…were observational and of limited rigor, rather than experimental in nature. Further, the body of literature reporting the benefits of BAHAs may be subject to ‘publication bias’." (p. 711).
  • "From this systematic review, we conclude that there is limited statistically supported, empirically controlled evidence supporting the nonacoustic benefits of BAHAs relative to more conventional hearing aids or no hearing aids at all." (p. 711)

Keywords: Hearing Aids

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Added to Compendium: November 2011

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