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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

American Academy of Audiology
A Systematic Review of Health-Related Quality of Life and Hearing Aids: Final Report of the American Academy of Audiology Task Force on the Health-Related Quality of Life Benefits of Amplification in Adults

Chisolm, T. H., Johnson, C. E., et al. (2007).
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 18(2), 151–183.

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 Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of reasearch literature pertaining to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for adults with hearing aids.

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Adults who are new or previous hearing aid users with normal cognitive function and sensorineural hearing loss.

Intervention/Assessment: Hearing aids

Number of Studies Included: 16

Years Included: 1980/1996–2004



  • Treatment
    • Hearing/Balance
      • "The mean within-subjects [effect size (ES)] calculated for the generic HRQoL measuers was equal to 0.02, with 95% [confidence intervals (CIs)] of -0.04 and 0.07. This result suggests that the effect of hearing aid use on HRQoL is essentially negligible" (p. 165).
      • "In contrast to the results obtained with generic measures, the mean within-subjects ES estimate of 1.01 with 95% CIs of 0.76 and 1.26 obtained for disease-specific outcomes in Level 3 studies supports a conclusion that hearing aids provide a small to medium effect on HRQoL" (p. 165).
      • "When the between-subjects data from Level 1 and Level 2 studies are considered, the mean ES estimate is higher (i.e., 2.07 with 95% CIs of 0.51 and 3.63). This result suggests that hearing aids have a robust, medium-to-large effect on HRQoL when outcomes are measured using disease-specific instruments" (pp. 165–166). 
      • Results of this systematic review and meta-analysis reveal that hearing aids improve health-related quality of life, however the type of outcome measure influences the size of the effect. Generic measures demonstrated smaller effect sizes than disease-specific measures.

Keywords: Hearing Aids

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Added to Compendium: August 2010

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