Hearing Aid Clinical Trials Specific Benefits Need Specific Measures Perspective
Perspective  |   March 01, 1998
Hearing Aid Clinical Trials
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Denis Byrne
    National Acoustic Laboratories, 126 Greville Street, Chatswood, NSW 2067 Australia
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: Denis.Byrne@nal.gov.au
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Perspectives
Perspective   |   March 01, 1998
Hearing Aid Clinical Trials
American Journal of Audiology, March 1998, Vol. 7, 17-19. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0701.17
History: Received September 22, 1997 , Accepted October 27, 1997
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 1998, Vol. 7, 17-19. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0701.17
History: Received September 22, 1997; Accepted October 27, 1997
In his article, “Toward a Model Clinical-Trials Protocol for Substantiating Hearing Aid User-Benefit Claims,” Brian Walden (1997)  presents an extensive examination of many matters concerned with clinical trials and, as such, the article should be required reading for anyone contemplating the undertaking of a clinical trial. Although I would endorse many of the individual points raised in this article, I question the basic approach that is recommended, namely that all clinical trials should be based on a core set of evaluation measures using standard materials and test conditions.
I submit that in many instances, this approach would not result in effective and efficient trials because benefit claims can vary substantially and require the use of different measurements to be evaluated. A related concern, regarding the particular protocol suggested (three types of speech discrimination tests and the Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit [PHAB] self-assessment questionnaire), is the great emphasis placed on understanding speech and the correspondingly little attention to other possible benefits.
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