“A pilot study of hearing aids and combination devices in the management of tinnitus”

Contact Name: Danny Kearney

Contact Email: Danny.Kearney@cmft.nhs.uk

Danny Kearney is a Senior Audiologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He received his MSc. in Advanced Audiology from the University of Manchester in 2012 and his BSc. (Hons) in Audiology from Aston University in 2007.

In addition to his clinical commitments in Adult Rehabilitation, Paediatrics and Tinnitus Danny is also dedicated to developing services and engaging in research. Danny’s latest research activity has been focused on tinnitus management.

Objective: To determine whether combination devices or hearing aids are more effective in the management of patients with tinnitus and hearing loss.

Design: Participants were issued with either hearing aids or combination devices depending on their random group allocation. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire (TRQ) and Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) for tinnitus annoyance and loudness were performed pre and post treatment as outcome measures. Data was also gathered regarding how much the devices were used.

Sample: The sample consisted of 15 participants; seven were allocated to the hearing aid group and eight to the combination device group. On average participants had a symmetrical, high frequency sensorineural hearing loss and all participants were issued with bilateral devices using open fit ear pieces.

Results: An improvement in mean THI, TRQ and VAS scores was measured in both groups. The improvement in THI score did not reach clinical significance in either group and the difference between the groups was not statistically significant. The mean hours of daily device use was higher amongst those in the hearing aid group compared to the combination device group.

Conclusion: A larger scale study should be performed to compare the devices with a larger sample and over a longer period of time.

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