Implantable bone conduction devices (BCDs) have been shown to improve the audiological outcomes for patients with single-sided deafness (SSD). However, their effect on quality of life (QOL) is not well researched.
Hapton et al. (2021) completed an extensive literature search in multiple databases, encompassing January 1, 1978 through June 24, 2021. Inclusion criteria consisted of studies with 10 or more participants, child or adult, with SSD who received a unilateral BCD and had an assessment of their QOL both before and after implantation. The three QOL instruments used were the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB), the Health Utilities Index-3 (HUI-3) and the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ).
A total of 11 adult studies met the inclusion criteria and included a total of 203 participants using BCDs from various manufacturers. The BCDs results revealed a significant improvement in global APHAB scores and the SSQ hearing, speech and spatial hearing subscales with no significant improvement in the mean HUI-3 scores. Thus, hearing-specific measures are likely more sensitive for documenting benefits of BCDs.
Future studies with patients who receive BCDs should be completed, particularly for children with SSD.
Hapton T, Milinis K, Whitehall E. (2021) Association of bone conduction devices for single-sided sensorineural deafness with quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.
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