Hearables and Behaviour Study

Participate in a Groundbreaking Hearing Study

Together with the University of Western Australia, the Brain and Hearing Research Team at Ear Science is conducting a study to investigate whether hearing amplification with the use of hearables, combined with a behaviour activation program, can improve mood and social participation.

What are hearables?

Hearables are personal amplification devices (like wireless ear buds or air pods) that fit inside the ear and amplify sounds through a smartphone app. They are popular with people who have mild hearing loss and want to improve their hearing in certain situations.

Who can take part?

Research Lead Dr Dona Jayakody and study participant Michèle Drouart.

The research team is seeking individuals aged 65 or older, both men and women, who are encountering mild to moderate hearing loss. Eligible participants should be experiencing noticeable impacts on their daily lives and mood due to their hearing loss. To be eligible, participants cannot be currently using a hearing aid or device.

The trial will take approximately six months overall, and participants will be divided into four groups. Participants must be available to attend four in-person sessions within a six-month period, to be held at the Ear Science Medical Research Headquarters in the Ralph & Patricia Sarich Building; level 3/ 8 Verdun Street Nedlands, WA.

What is the goal of the study?

The goal of the study is to determine the benefits of hearables in relation to mood and social interaction. The study aims to identify whether using a hearable device alone is enough to improve someone’s mood, or if additional help is needed to get them back to where they were before any hearing loss and to re-engage in activities they enjoy.

Due to loss of hearing, some people find they give up activities they used to enjoy or may be less inclined to interact socially due to feelings of embarrassment and frustration, which can lead to isolation and low mood. Behavioural activation is a relatively simple psychological intervention and aims to encourage participants to re-engage in valued activities and social conversations with the aim of improving mental well-being.

What are the benefits for participants?

All participants at some point within the trial, will be gifted a hearable device, worth $500. The device will be fitted by a member of the research team and a follow-up appointment will be made to program the device based on user experience.

If you or someone you know is experiencing feelings of frustration in relation to loss of hearing, and not able to satisfactorily engage in activities or social interaction, being part of this study could help.

If you meet the criteria outlined and would like to take part in the study, please register your interest in the form below or call research team coordinators Matthew Zimmermann: 0476 987 837 or Hema Patel: 0484 068 188.

The research team leads are Dona Jayakody (ESIA) and Andrew Ford (Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, UWA). The study has been made possible thanks to a National Health and Medical Research Council grant.

Please take a moment to read through the Participant Information Sheet prior to registering your interest.

Register your interest below

    NOTE: All criteria must be met to proceed
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