Measuring hearing aid outcomes - Not as easy as it seems

Gabrielle H. Saunders, Teresa H. Chisolm, Harvey B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Outcomes measurement in audiology has received much attention because of the need to demonstrate efficacy of treatment, provide evidence for third-party payment, carry out cost-benefit analyses, and justify resource allocation. Outcomes measurement shows the benefits obtained from a hearing aid and determines the costs of obtaining those benefits. In this article, we discuss why the seemingly simple issue of outcomes measurement is highly complex and the use of generic and disease-specific tools and the relationship between them; we also provide information regarding the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) system for selecting outcome measures. We then discuss factors complicating outcomes measurement, including discrepancies between clinically derived outcomes and functional outcomes, the ways clinicians can affect outcomes, and factors intrinsic to the patient that influence outcomes. We conclude that if the vision of moving quickly and efficiently from bench to chairside is to be realized, then clinicians must routinely measure hearing aid outcomes and researchers investigate their validity and usefulness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number4 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Audiology
  • Hearing aid
  • Hearing loss
  • International classification of functioning disability and health
  • Measurement
  • Outcome assessment (healthcare)
  • Outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Treatment outcome
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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