Helen studied at the University of Leicester, gaining her PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2011. She is Principal Research Fellow, a Chartered Psychologist and NIHR Career Development Fellowship holder. Working alongside clinical and academic colleagues in Hearing Sciences at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, her program of research aims to evaluate novel digital interventions to support adults with hearing loss and those with whom they communicate.
Helen is specialty lead for ENT within the East Midlands NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), an Associate Member of the British Society of Audiology (BAA), a Senior Fellow of the British Society of Audiology (BSA) and Vice Chair of the BSA Special Interest Group for Cognition in Hearing, an Associate of the Higher Education Academy and Associate Fellow & Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society.
Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Helen's PhD examined how accurate and precise an individual's long-term memory for photographic images might be to inform its potential as a query language for image database retrieval. During her PhD, Helen gained experience in eye tracking and mathematical modelling techniques.
At the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Helen has developed expertise in presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), adult aural rehabilitation, auditory and cognitive training, and the clinical and cognitive assessment of adults with hearing loss. Helen's research spans health service delivery, research priority setting, feasibility studies, development and assessment of novel digital interventions, systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.
One of the main issues faced by people with hearing loss is the reduced ability to understand speech, particularly in noisy and challenging environments. An ongoing research project aims to identify whether everyday listening abilities can be improved through online auditory-cognitive training using games where users practice cognitively-challenging speech-based listening tasks. Tests of speech intelligibility, cognition and self-reported communication are assessed before and after training to identify whether generalisable (real-world) benefits can be achieved.
Helen currently holds a prestigious NIHR Career Development Fellowship. This Fellowship supports research to develop a digital tool (or app) for first-time hearing aid users. The app will employ established behaviour change techniques to help encourage new NHS patients to use their prescribed hearing aids optimally.
QUINN SC, HENSHAW H, CLARK D, FALCK C and SMITH S, 2010. Using the CLOX drawing task to educate the public of the effects of hearing loss. Perception. 39(10), 1420-3
HENSHAW H, CLARK DPA, KANG S and FERGUSON MA, 2012. Computer skills and internet use in adults aged 50-74 years: influence of hearing difficulties. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 14(4), e113