About this Research Topic
Funding and service allocation for adults with hearing loss continue to broadly rely on pure-tone audiometry measures. This is despite the limited relationship between pure-tone audiometry and listening function measured with existing outcome measures that are routinely used clinically. In addition, researchers and clinicians question the validity, reliability and responsiveness of some of the standard speech perception and self-reported evaluations available, and multiple test alternatives and improvements have been proposed or developed. Some suggested improvements include improving auditory ecology by using more realistic stimuli and environments for speech perception testing, the development of questionnaires that follow more rigorous psychometric and validation techniques, and complementing auditory tasks with specific language-based and cognitive tests. Some alternatives include assessing the sensory resolution of specific acoustic features, electrophysiology, pupillometry and imaging techniques to estimate speech processing abilities.
Because listening for communication requires a constant interplay between complex sensory and neural processes, language abilities, cognitive skills and psychological factors such as motivation in a wide range of listening conditions, the number of outcome evaluations continues to expand. This presents a considerable challenge clinically when attempting to appropriately quantify benefits arising from interventions for adults with hearing loss with the goal of optimizing outcomes. Specifically, there is a need to carefully assess integrating different test options within routine care in a clinically viable and cost effective manner. Taking a longer-term evidence-based quality-improvement perspective, there are multiple benefits for clinics and researchers to work towards agreeing on a limited number of outcome measures (e.g. core outcome sets) that can be used as standard practice depending on the intervention, for results to be compared.
This Frontier Research Topic, as part of the Auditory-Cognitive Neuroscience subsection, welcomes authors to submit manuscripts that will contribute to the discussion surrounding the clinical application of outcome measures for adults with hearing loss. Therefore, it is important that there is a clear trajectory of how any basic research can translate into clinical practice. Submissions that compare and constructively assess or critique different evaluation options for clinical application are particularly welcomed. Critical reviews that take a systematic approach to integrate this information will be assessed favorably.
Keywords: Outcome measures, Hearing loss, Adult, Clinical application, Intervention
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.