People who are prescribed hearing aids are to get help in using them more effectively thanks to a new series of online videos developed by scientists and researchers at the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit.
The C2Hear project has been designed in collaboration with a large group of hearing aid users, after concerns that many new users struggle to adapt to wearing them. C2Hear is a series of interactive multi-media ‘how-to’ tutorials and is a partnership between The University of Nottingham, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, the audiology company PC Werth and the charity Action on Hearing Loss.
The healthcare tool has been available to buy on DVD, but will now be freely available online after the launch at the British Academy of Audiology conference in Harrogate on November 26 2016. C2Hear Online offers 10 bite-sized interactive multimedia presentations with instructions and information, animation and videos with advice and encouragement from hearing aid users telling their own personal experiences.
Project leader, Dr Melanie Ferguson, consultant clinical scientist at the NIHR Nottingham Hearing BRU, said: “Hearing aids can transform the lives of those with permanent hearing loss, yet out of two million people who have one, around 20 per cent — 400,000 people — choose not to wear their devices. Reasons for this include difficulties using their aids and difficulty remembering all the important information needed for successful use. Our research showed C2Hear resulted in significant improvements in these areas, along with increased confidence and reassurance. C2Hear Online is an exciting development that will make essential information accessible to many people across the UK and beyond through the internet, smartphones and tablets.”
The effectiveness of the C2Hear programme was piloted in a trial involving more than 200 new hearing aid users recruited through Nottingham Audiology Services. It showed that people who used the programme were better informed about potential problems with hearing aids and had much better practical skills in using them.
Hazel, a research participant, said: “If I did not have the C2Hear DVD I might have given up wearing my hearing aids”, and another user, Isobel, said: “Everyone should have access to the video tutorials in some form or other.”
The Health e-Learning and Media (HELM) team in the School of Health Sciences have led the development of the multimedia videos. Mike Taylor a learning technologist in HELM said: “By making the C2Hear video tutorials available on YouTube we are making these high quality resources available to anyone in the world who needs them.”
C2Hear Online is available here including a self-evaluation quiz and the video series is now on YouTube.
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