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Hearing And Rehabilitation needs of the Stroke population - HEARS
This project assesses the hearing needs of stroke sufferers and benefits from the use of binaural personal remote microphone listening devices. Hearing disability is neither wholly accounted for nor limited to those with raised hearing thresholds. We previously studied patients with stroke affecting the auditory pathways in the brain, excluding patients with severe to profound hearing loss and severe aphasia. 43% of these reported severe difficulties with hearing speech in noise. Half of these patients had normal hearing thresholds. The patients listening questionnaire scores did not correlate with hearing thresholds, but correlated significantly with tests of auditory processing. Listening difficulties were thus attributed to abnormal processing of sounds within the brain due to the stroke. We assessed (and are currently analysing results) hearing in consecutive stroke unit patients, by means of questionnaires, audiological tests and other assessments, in order to quantify and characterize the stroke patients hearing needs, identify the appropriate rehabilitation to address these and validate a hearing screening test for the stroke unit. We have conducted a feasibility study to investigate whether stroke sufferers with difficulties hearing speech in noise with normal hearing thresholds may benefit from the use of binaural personal remote microphone listening devices and a proof of concept study that assesses long term remote microphone listening devices benefits after stroke. These benefits appear to be clinically significant. We are currently seeking funding to examine the mechanism for long term remote microphone listening devices benefits after stroke. Finally, a further strand of this project (funded by the EVOTION grant) will assess the benefits and the mechanism responsible for the benefits for FM system use in hearing impaired patients who had a stroke, as well as in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and patients with auditory neuropathy due to Friedreich’s ataxia. This will help us understand how the presence of auditory processing and different cognitive deficits impacts on hearing aid use and whether adding remote microphone listening devices to the hearing aid provide real life benefits (such as decreased listening effort/reaction time in challenging listening conditions) and other mid term outcome related information.
6 Researchers
4 External Collaborators
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