New Ear Foundation Report Recommends Adult Hearing Screenings
Thu Apr 21, 2016 01:52 PMBy Amanda Farah Cox
The Ear Foundation has released its latest report, this time on the importance of adult hearing screenings. “Adult Hearing Screening: Can We Afford to Wait Any Longer?” was written by Brian Lamb, OBE, and Ida Advisory Board member Sue Archbold, PhD, and released in collaboration with Action on Hearing Loss. The report looks at the benefits of hearing technology, the evidence that there is more undiagnosed hearing loss than previously believed, and the increased use of hearing technology – now at 42.4% for those who would benefit in the UK. Based on the information, the report recommends that hearing screenings be made more readily available. According to research cited in the report, general practitioners fail to refer 45% of those reporting hearing loss to NHS hearing services (Davis et al. 2007), and hearing screening “was considered more cost effective than the current system of GP-referral.” The report suggests that potential patients would be more likely to investigate hearing difficulties if they could have hearing screenings done at a doctor’s offices, pharmacies, in care homes, or through employers. The increased availability of hearing screenings could also be effective in combating the stigma of hearing loss by normalizing the test. The report determines screening to be an effective early intervention, which could lead to savings in healthcare and social services (thus making them cost-effective), as discussed in earlier Ear Foundation reports. Screenings also have popular support: A survey of Action on Hearing Loss and Ear Foundation members found 75% of them supported the introduction of hearing screening. What the two organizations would like to see now is “a systemic program for these initiatives to be implemented.” You can download the report in full from the Ear Foundation here.