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Randomized controlled trial of hearing aids to improve cognition in older NZers

54 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Grant Searchfield
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Untreated hearing loss speeds up age-related decline in our ability to process & understand information. Hearing aids can slow or halt this decline. Some technology used in hearing aids requires fast thinking that can be impaired with age. We will undertake a trial comparing standard hearing aid settings to those that have been set for slower processing of sound. In a case of “less is more” when our own processing of information becomes slower, hearing aid processing also needs to slow down. Little is known about the hearing and use of hearing aids amongst older Maori. An emphasis in this research will be to understand how hearing aid services can be improved for older Maori. The results will lead directly to better hearing services for older New Zealanders. Because the research uses existing hearing aids and testing procedures our findings will be able to be rapidly put into practice.