A global collaborative effort is underway to address the unmet needs for adults with hearing loss. As a member of the Cochlear Implant Global Task Force, The Hearing House’s clinical director Dr Holly Teagle has been instrumental in developing the new Living Guidelines on hearing care for adults. These guidelines provide guidance for hearing professionals to improve the standard of adult hearing healthcare, including assessment and follow-up care for a cochlear implant. Now drafted, the guidelines are open for comment and review; they should reflect the reality that people with hearing loss experience every day.
The taskforce is calling on individuals and families to provide feedback on the draft Living Guidelines document, asking them to share their lived experience and offer their insights.
“Clinical guidelines are integral to ensuring that healthcare decisions are based on the best available evidence. Before now, there were no international and patient-centred guidelines for hearing care and cochlear implants for adults,” Holly says.
“We need to hear the voices of our Cochlear Implant (CI) recipients,” she says. “Their input is vital in creating a more inclusive and effective healthcare environment that provides better outcomes for everyone.
“Untreated hearing loss has been linked to decreased quality of life, cognitive decline and depression and there is a growing body of evidence suggesting an association between hearing loss in older adults and neurocognitive disorders, such as dementia.
“Additionally, hearing loss can also have an impact on the individuals close to them, including family and friends.”
The new Living Guidelines make nine recommendations across hearing screening, specialist referral and evaluation, rehabilitation and patient outcomes. The two-year research project looked at more than 13,000 peer-reviewed studies and involved a panel of 52 experts representing 58 organisations, including those living with hearing loss. The guidance and guidelines will be updated as new evidence is published.
The Recommendations and Good Practice Statements are now open for public consultation and feedback from the global healthcare community until 31 May 2023. Click here to read the documents and provide feedback.