Validation of teleaudiology hearing aid rehabilitation services for adults: a systematic review of outcome measurement tools

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Purpose: To investigate outcome measurement tools for the validation of teleaudiology hearing aid rehabilitation services for adults. Methods: A search strategy was developed to identify tools used to evaluate standard and teleaudiology hearing aid rehabilitation services for adults. A seven-domain hearing-health-care service model for validation was defined and used to analyse the applicability and suitability of patient- and service-centred tools. This model and the applicability and suitability criteria were based on the literature, the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework, and gold standard professional practice guidelines, which together formed the validation framework used in this study. Results: Eighteen tools were identified and assessed against the validation framework. These tools were found to primarily assess aspects in the patient communication domain and rarely in the domain of service provision. All the included tools had some applicable items for teleaudiology hearing aid services; three tools were judged as suitable and four partially suitable for validating these services. Conclusion: Although there is a set of suitable tools available to validate teleaudiology hearing aid rehabilitation services, none of them cover all the seven domains of the validation model used by this review and few are focussed on a specific domain. Further improvement and/or development of new tools to comprehensively validate these services is still necessary. At this stage, this still limits clinical audiology practice research, especially in teleaudiology.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Outcome measurement tools are crucial for assessing the validity of hearing rehabilitation services. Findings of this study inform clinicians and researchers on how and what to assess and use to evaluate teleaudiology and standard hearing aid rehabilitation services. The use of the proposed validation framework may facilitate the standardisation of validation of both face-to-face and remotely delivered audiology rehabilitation services and improve consistency of methodology and reported real-world outcomes across studies and thus, the evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4161-4178
Number of pages18
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number16
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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