Monday, October 30, 2017

Auditory brain training for people with hearing loss and the importance of the hearing healthcare professional

One key feature that makes clEAR Auditory Brain Training so appealing to people who have hearing loss is that clEAR HHPs (Hearing Healthcare Providers) provide customized hearing healthcare.  Customized hearing healthcare has four key elements: understanding and treating the patient's particular hearing-related communication challenges, including the frequent communication partner in the aural rehabilitation plan, creating a sense of belonging and a community among patients who share hearing-related communication difficulties, and last but by no means least, joining the patient on the hearing healthcare journey. Today's blog is about that last element, being a part of the patient journey.
First a little background:  We provided clEAR auditory brain training to about 100 patients with hearing loss and had an over 95% compliance rate (meaning that patients completed the training program) (Tye-Murray et al., 2012, JAAA). At the end of their training, we asked each patient, "What did you like best about the experience?" The most popular answer was some variant of "Regular contact with an audiologist" and "Knowing that a professional cares about my progress." 
There is a very powerful message in this research outcome: Not only do people with hearing loss appreciate regular contact with a clEAR HHP, but they receive greater benefit from auditory brain training if they have contact with a hearing healthcare profession.  clEAR HHPs genuinely care  about a patient's predicament and about being an important component of the solution. This is what distinguishes the clEAR experience from any other auditory training program and distinguishes clEAR HHPs from the big box stores that simply sale hearing aids for profit.   Ear Train the Brain:

Friday, October 27, 2017

Good news for older people who have hearing loss

 A study published in Current Biology (Whitten et al., 2017) presents good news for older patients who have hearing loss and provides motivation for auditory training.  In a nutshell:
  • Participants: Experienced hearing-aid users with mild to severe losses (average age = 70 yrs)
  • Task of test group: Play a computerized listening game where the difficulty level changes adaptively by increasing background speech babble
  • Rationale: Patients will learn to suppress the distraction of increasingly loud background babble by directing their attention to feedback cues provided by the game
  • Duration of training: 8 weeks, 3 hrs/wk
  • Findings: Speech-in-noise intelligibility improved
  • by a whopping 25%
  • Caveat: Gains were not long-term, so training should be ongoing   Ear Train the Brain

clEAR auditory brain training is now even more accessible to people with hearing loss!

Read about the new model in The Hearing Review!