Development of tools to assess hearing aid and hearing implant management skills

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One of the great technology advances in health over the last 20 or 30 years has been the development of the hearing aid and cochlear implant for people with a hearing loss. Both these devices are made and programmed in a way that is matched to the individual ear and hearing loss. However, they are also complex devices to use and to maintain. Many hearing device owners are unaware of what should or can be done with their devices, and so may not be receiving the full benefits their device has to offer.

Our research has shown that there are over 100 separate aspects of information or tasks that are required to manage these devices, from changing a battery through to where to buy supplies. This information or tasks are normally taught by the audiologist. However, due to time constraints or information overload, some aspects may be overlooked.

Through extensive consultations with patients and audiologists, we have developed a number of tools that help the audiologists or individual to identify problem areas, i.e. those which require further instruction or training.

The Cochlear Implant Management Skills (CIMS) survey is available as a clinical version for clinical staff to administer during appointments, and a version that the hearing implant user can use themselves. To access the cochlear implant management skills survey click here.

The Hearing Aid Management Skills (HAMS) and the Hearing Aid Problems (HAP) surveys are designed to identify hearing aid management issues and common hearing aid problems. 

Multicentre trials of the CIMS, HAMS and HAP surveys have been planned.


Bec Bennett, Marcus Atlas, Rob Eikelboom, Dona Jayakody

Key papers:

Bennett RJ, Jayakody DMP, Atlas MD, Taljaard DS, Eikelboom RH. A prospective study evaluating cochlear implant management skills: development and validation of the Cochlear Implant Management Skills (CIMS) survey. Clinical Otolaryngology. 41(1): 51-58; 2016. doi: 10.1111/coa.12472

Bennett RJ, Meyer C, Eikelboom RH. Is clinician continuity associated with hearing aid outcomes? Journal: International Journal of Audiology. Accepted for publication April 2016.

Bennett RJ, Jayakody DMP Eikelboom RH, Atlas MD. Self-reported cochlear implant management skills: development and validation of the self-administered Cochlear Implant Management Skills (CIMS-self) survey. Journal: Clinical Otolaryngology. Accepted for publication Oct 2016.

Bennett RJ, Taljaard DS, Brennan-Jones CJ, Tegg-Quinn S, Eikelboom RH. Evaluating hearing aid handling skills: A systematic and descriptive review. International Journal of Audiology. 54(11):765-76; 2015. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2015.1052104