Memphis, Tenn — University of Memphis researchers have been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to perform a 5-year study that will compare the effectiveness of premium and basic hearing aids.

Robyn Cox, PhD, (pictured) a professor of audiology in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Memphis, will lead the research, which will focus on hearing aids used by older adults.

In a press release, Cox explained, “We want to know more about when it is worthwhile to spend what is needed to obtain hearing aids that are technologically advanced, versus when that level of technology is not really needed by a particular individual. Practitioners and patients really want to know this, but there is very little independent research they can refer to.”

Cox said she will recruit people from throughout the community who will use hearing aids in the school’s laboratory, as well as in their daily lives. She and her colleagues will measure the users’ performance with different hearing aids, and they will seek the users’ opinions of the devices they use.

“In the end,” Cox added, “we hope to be able to offer guidelines to hearing-impaired adults, and to practitioners who fit hearing aids, to help them choose the best technology for each individual.”

SOURCE: University of Memphis