C2Hear Makes Materials Freely Available Online
Fri Jun 03, 2016 01:25 PMBy Amanda Farah Cox
C2Hear interactive multimedia educational videos are now available online for free. C2Hear is a series of 10 short, interactive videos that act as supplementary support for first time hearing aid users. They cover topics related to hearing aid use and communication strategies to help provide greater benefits to users’ as well as improve confidence. The interactive videos – known as reusable learning objects (RLOs) – were developed by Ida Fellow and Research Committee member Dr Melanie Ferguson and her colleagues at the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit in partnership with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Development on C2Hear first began in 2011 when the team collected input from more than 30 hearing aid users who through focus groups and workshops said what would have been useful to know when they first received hearing aids. C2Hear began life as a DVD, and has recently launched online thanks to the positive reactions to the materials. The benefits of C2Hear were demonstrated in a clinically registered randomized controlled trial. “There were a number of benefits,” says Melanie. “The group that received the RLOs had significantly better knowledge and practical hearing aid handling skills than the control group, and in people who weren’t wearing their hearing aids all the time, we saw there was greater use. People reported greater confidence, greater reassurance, they liked and they valued them.” The hope is that hearing care professionals will refer their clients to the RLOs, and the NIHR team is currently working with a few key audiology departments to see how the RLOs get embedded into clinical practice. Since the online launch, they have had over 8000 views, 35% of which come from outside the UK, which has led the group to look into translating the materials into other languages. Melanie also spoke to us about the future plans for C2Hear. “We’re looking to individualize the RLOs, make them more interactive, and also have an element of self-monitoring, so people can monitor how they’re getting on in certain situations,” says Melanie. C2Hear is also being developed for communication partners over the summer.. “The emphasis won’t be on first-time hearing aids users, these are more generic for family members or friends of people with hearing loss,” she says. “Because we’re going to develop it on a different platform, we’ll be able to have much more interactivity. Instead of waiting to the very end where we have the interactive quiz, we’ll be asking questions and getting people to interact with the learning materials as they go along. We’ve got a number of planned: One on communication tactics, one on what it means to have hearing loss, because as you know people don’t understand what hearing loss is about, and another on the psychosocial consequences of hearing loss.” The evidence base for that RLO has been built on several papers Melanie and the NIHR team have published, with several more due out this year. Research is continuing to see what other ways people with hearing loss can benefit from C2Hear. “I’ve got another student who’s looking at what happens if you give the RLOs to people at their hearing assessment, once they know they’re going to get a hearing aid. We want to see whether the RLOs increase patients’ readiness to take-up hearing aids, and see whether the RLOs increase their self-efficacy with hearing aids because they’ll have more opportunity to have an informed discussion with the audiologist.” Self-efficacy – and by extension, self-management – plays a big role in Melanie’s ambitions for C2Hear and how it can help people with hearing loss in the future. “What I want to end up with is not just an educational tool, but a self-management tool and we are looking into building other aspects of self-management around that.” You can read more about the research on C2Hear here. Visit the C2Hear website at NIHR to learn more and watch the videos.