Validation of new strategies

Oscar Cañete

Many people with hearing loss in Denmark and elsewhere are fitted with hearing aids. However, a relatively large proportion (20%) of hearing-aid owners do not regularly use their hearing aids. The solution is to optimize the fitting for each individual so that everyone receives the best rehabilitation he or she can.

Hearing-aid fitting is the process of selecting and adjusting all the features and parameters of a modern hearing aid. Currently, the initial fit is based completely on the pure-tone audiogram, which is a relatively crude assessment of a hearing disability determining only the softest tones a listener can hear. The audiogram provides limited information to guide the choice of these features and feature parameters. The result is a fitting process that relies on trial-and-error methods, which leads to inconsistent practices and results, lack of satisfaction and inefficient service.

One of the BEAR project’s goals is the development of a new diagnostic test battery that can form a solid base for a clinician to make decisions regarding the choice of the device and the initial fitting as the development of new outcome measures to effectively measure the benefit for the individual hearing-aid user. The validation of the new strategy vs the existing strategy by objective assessment of aided performance in clinical populations plays a key role within BEAR.  In this project, Oscar Cañete will contribute with the clinical implementation of the BEAR test batteries and with the design of the clinical hearing-aid fitting trials in collaboration with the BEAR project in Aalborg and Odense.