Research Priorities for Mild-to-Moderate Hearing Loss in Adults

Henshaw et al. (2015) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

hearing loss

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Hearing loss affects more than 10 million people in the UK alone, the majority (92%) of whom experience mild or moderate losses. It has been recognised globally that, hearing loss continues to be an area in which there is low and highly variable take-up of available interventions and little systematic data for outcomes”.1 Hearing loss is highly prevalent, which makes it costly to society. However, it is also costly to the individual since hearing loss has a substantial eff ect on interpersonal communication, psychological wellbeing, quality of life, and economic independence.2 Additionally, hearing and communication is crucial to the management of other health conditions, which may have additional consequences. Despite being one of six health priority areas for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), significantly less money is spent on hearing research (£47 per disability-adjusted life-year; DALY) than for other priority disorders such as sight loss (£99 per DALY) and diabetes (£399 per DALY). It is therefore imperative that hearing research funds are directed to the questions that are important to those affected.

What was the objective?

to define a national research agenda for mild-to-moderate hearing loss in adults

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

July 2014 - September 2015

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

JLA method

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: collecting uncertainties via survey, 1147 submissions. Step 2: data processing: submissions collated, grouped into themes, indicative research questions generated, indicative questions identified as true uncertainties by examining literature. Step 3: interim ranking: survey asking participants to rate the importance of 87 indicative research questions, top 30 rated questions moved forward. Step 4: final prioritization: workshop with nominal group technique, small group and plenary rankings

Which stakeholders took part?

Patients, family, friends, clinicians. Survey: 461 participants. Interim ranking: 486 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

No information provided.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders not only participated but were also actively involved in the research prioritization process: They were part of a steering group.