UNT faculty receive $300k grant to study hearing aid adoption and performance in adults

They are currently seeking participants for the study, which will help determine factors that lead to successful hearing aid usage. 

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Faculty in the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology have received a sizable grant from the Hearing Industry Research Consortium to determine how emotions, psychological well-being, social relationships, stress and other factors impact whether adults continue to use hearing aids once they’re purchased. The study will include 40 participants between the ages of 50 to 85 who purchase hearing aids from the UNT Speech and Hearing Center located at 907 W. Sycamore St. in Denton. The principal investigator for the study is Erin Schafer, professor of audiology. Sharon Miller, assistant professor of audiology, and Boji Lam, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, also will serve as investigators on the project.

If a patient qualifies for the study, they will be required to visit the center several times for a set of tests and will receive three $300 gift cards. Participants also receive a remote microphone to help them with listening in noisy situations. Testing for the study consists of hearing assessments, surveys and non-invasive brain and eye response tests.

“Each of the three study sessions can be completed in one or two days. All testing, including breaks, will take approximately six hours per session,” Dr. Schafer said.

Their initial data will be submitted this fall and they hope to establish what influences people who have disabling hearing loss that negatively impacts their lives to consistently wear hearing aids.

“Every hearing aid patient is unique and our ultimate goal is to better understand what individual factors increase hearing aid acceptance in new hearing aid users,” said Dr. Miller. “The study data will provide a roadmap for how we can customize the hearing aid fitting process to match specific patient needs.” 

For more information, or to learn more about becoming a study participant, email Dr. Schafer at erin.schafer@unt.edu, or call 940-565-2262.