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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

National Institute for Clinical Excellence
Systematic Review of the Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Digital Hearing Aids

Taylor, R. S., Paisley, S., et al. (2001).
British Journal of Audiology, 35(5), 271-288.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
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 review of randomized controlled trials, randomized crossover trials, and economic studies investigating the effectiveness of digital hearing aids in comparison to other forms of hearing aid technology.

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Individuals with a hearing impairment

Intervention/Assessment: Digital hearing aids

Number of Studies Included: 8 clinical effectiveness studies, 8 cost effectiveness studies

Years Included: Not stated



  • Management
    • Hearing
      • Digital/Analogue Hearing Aids - “The volume of randomized trial evidence identified was relatively small and of poor methodological quality. This evidence base provides little or no support for the benefit of digital devices from either laboratory or user-based outcomes, in the context in which the studies were conducted… Also, the inclusion of other technological advancements (such as directional microphones and methods of amplification) in a number of the trials may have confounded a direct analogue versus digital hearing aid comparison. There remains a need to undertake separate systematic review(s) of these hearing aid advances” (pp. 286-287).

Keywords: Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids

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Added to Compendium: March 2012

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