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Hearing impairment is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the Netherlands, Europe and even worldwide. Due to the ageing of our societies, the percentage of adults with hearing loss in the Netherlands will increase from 14% now to 45% in 2025. People need to work longer and hence, the number of hearing impaired adults in the workforce will increase considerably.

Research of the section Audiology at the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is divided into two programs: a) Auditory Functioning and Participation in society and b) Speech Recognition and Clinical research in Audiology.

All research projects are embedded in the program Quality of Care of the Amsterdam Public Health (APH) research institute www.amsterdamresearch.org.

Auditory Functioning and Participation includes three themes:

  1. Epidemiology
    Whereas there is ample evidence showing that hearing impairment may have serious adverse effects on older individual’s psychosocial health, wellbeing and societal participation, relatively little is known about the longitudinal effects and the effects of hearing impairment in young and middle aged adults (18-65 year). These topics are addressed in two research projects on the Netherlands Longitudinal Study on Hearing (NL-SH), i.e., NL-SH 2 and NL-SH 3. Further, the number of older adults seeking hearing help for their hearing problems and taking up hearing aids remain disappointingly low over the past decades. Recent literature convincingly show that the factors causing this are still largely unknown. These research gaps are addressed in two projects: NL-SH 3, and the PredictEAR study. Read more

  2. Listening effort & cognition
    Hearing impairment imposes a constant strain on speech communication. Many people with hearing loss struggle to hear in daily life, even with the best hearing aids available. Effort, concentration and the exploitation of cognitive resources to compensate for the loss are required often resulting in stress and fatigue. This in turn may lead to sick leave and withdrawal from major social roles such as occupation and education.
    Methods of assessment other than the traditional pure-tone- or speech audiometry are required to measure listening effort. Pupillometry is such a method. The aim is to establish this method for use in Audiology and investigate the mechanisms behind listening effort. Read more

  3. Innovation & evaluation of hearing health care
    Standard audiological care is mostly restricted to audiologic assessment, hearing aid assessment and hearing aid fitting. For various groups of adults with hearing loss, additional – multidisciplinary - care is needed. An example of such a care program is the Vocational Enablement Protocol for workers with hearing loss. Its cost-effectiveness is currently investigated in an RCT.
    The development and implementation of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in Audiology is also covered in this research theme as well as research focusing on factors predicting hearing help seeking and hearing aid uptake. Read more

Speech Recognition & Clinical Research in Audiology


Annual Report 2016 now available!


Special Issue of Ear and Hearing
Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Energy

Read more

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