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Hearing Aids for Music project publishes report

The ‘Hearing Aids for Music’ project delivered by Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds University has published its end of project stakeholder report.

‘Hearing Aids for Music: You can find out more about the project on the Hearing Aids For Music website.

The Hearing Aids for Music (HAFM) project has explored how hearing impairments and the use of hearing aid technology affect people’s music experiences through a series of clinic surveys, an interview study and a national online survey. It is an interdisciplinary project led by a small team and supported by an advisory board who are leaders in a range of disciplines including music psychology, clinical audiology, computer science, auditory perception, deaf education, and hearing therapy.

The HAFM team has obtained a large amount of original empirical data from over 1,500 hearing aid users and over 100 audiology practitioners across the UK and internationally, and have worked with more than 30 NHS Trusts.

Project findings have shown that whilst hearing aids facilitate musical appreciation, there are challenges in musical settings such as distortion, difficulties hearing words in songs, and difficulties in live performance contexts.

To improve music listening, our research has identified behavioural strategies for hearing aid users and musicians (eg. listening practice, the use of music programmes, assistive listening devices) and practice-based strategies for audiologists (eg fitting hearing aids in clinic, tools to aid discussion). The project has developed advice leaflets for hearing aid users and audiologists which outline these strategies, and which are available on the project’s resources page.

In 2017, a conference was held to bring together hearing aid users, researchers, audiologists and manufacturers to examine current issues and potential solutions in the perception of music through hearing aids. Materials from the conference (including abstracts, presentation slides and 10 fully captioned videos) can be found here.