Guidance to rehabilitate patients with hearing and balance problems and tinnitus

30 Aug 2012 16:47:46.120

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Hearing and balance-related problems are often chronic conditions which can be managed but not always cured. Now new guidance by the British Society of Audiology – devised in collaboration with the National Institute for Health Research – promises to improve quality of life for patients with hearing and balance problems and tinnitus.

Effective rehabilitation is best achieved through a process that goes beyond addressing the sensory impairment by providing support both to the person experiencing the hearing or balance-related problem and their partner or immediate family.

New Practice Guidance on Common Principles of Rehabilitation in Routine Audiology Services will be launched in Nottingham on Wednesday 5 September by Professor Deborah Hall with collaborator Dr Daniel Rowan, during the Annual Conference of the British Society of Audiology (BSA). 
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Consultation and expert collaboration

Over the past decade there have been important developments in understanding how people with chronic conditions can be helped to maximise their quality of life. This includes unifying some general principles across a wide range of conditions including hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.

There is widespread acceptance that rehabilitation will fail to deliver its full potential if it focuses exclusively on addressing sensory impairment, without considering clients’ specific social and emotional needs.

The guidance was developed by the Professional Practice Committee of the British Society of Audiology (BSA) in collaboration with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, the Ida Institute, the BSA Adult Rehabilitation Interest Group, the BSA Balance Interest Group, and the wider audiology community. 

Professor Deborah Hall, Director of the National Institute for Health Research Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, said: “This guidance brings together the latest scientific evidence concerning what rehabilitative strategies best improve people’s quality of life.”

Utilising “considerable improvements in technology”

Dr Daniel Rowan, Chair of the BSA’s Professional Practice Committee, said: “This guidance was inspired by growing efforts within audiology to utilise fully the considerable improvements in technology at times of great challenge.

“The BSA aims to support these efforts by recognising the end goals of audiology and by promoting the core principles that we currently understand are necessary to achieve them. The intention is for audiology professionals to consider these principles as being at the heart of their practice, helping to guide their interactions with clients with a wide variety of needs and in a wide variety of contexts.”

This general approach is in keeping with current trends seen across other clinical disciplines in the rehabilitation of chronic illnesses. Although this new guidance is intended primarily to inform the practice of audiology professionals directly involved in the rehabilitation process, it is also intended to be a reference for commissioners, policy makers and other stakeholders as to what comprises best practice in rehabilitation

This new Practice Guidance will be presented during the BSA’s Annual Conference, which is being held this year at Nottingham Trent University.

Ends —

More information is available from Dr Daniel Rowan, BSA, on +44 (0)118 966 0622,; Professor Deborah Hall, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, on +44 (0)115 823 2600,; ; or Emma Thorne, Media Relations Manager in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44(0)115 951 5793,

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Notes to editors:

The British Society of Audiology, founded in 1966, is the largest audiology society in Europe. Its main aims are to promote an increase in knowledge of hearing and balance and how to alleviate impairments, and to promote best practice in audiology by dissemination of research and advancement of education. BSA achieves these through its uniquely multi-disciplinary approach, with members from all areas of audiology, hearing and balance science (

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further

information, visit the NIHR website (

The Ida Institute creates and shares innovative, actionable knowledge to help hearing care professionals address the psychological and social challenges of hearing loss and implement patient-centered care practices. Its mission is to foster a better understanding of the human dynamics associated with hearing loss. By making patient-centered care the core of hearing care practice, it aims to impact positively on hearing-impaired people and hearing care professionals around the world. The Ida Institute is an independent, non-profit organisation located in Denmark and funded by a grant from the Oticon Foundation. (

The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as “the embodiment of the modern international university”, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’.

It is ranked in the UK’s top 10 and the world’s top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Daniel Rowan, BSA, on +44 (0)118 966 0622,; Professor Deborah Hall, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, on +44 (0)115 823 2600,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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