NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND — Severe hearing loss affects over a million people in the UK1. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide will experience some degree of hearing loss and at least 700 million will require hearing rehabilitation.2 If left untreated, hearing loss can negatively affect education, employment, and quality of life and increases the risk of dementia and cognitive decline3.
Now researchers at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the University of Nottingham are launching a new study, sponsored by the University of Nottingham, which will inform the most effective treatment for people with severe hearing loss globally (those with hearing loss greater than 65 dBHL).
Working with hospitals in the UK, the Nottingham-based research team led by Dr Pádraig Kitterick and Professor Doug Hartley, who are Co-Chief Investigators for the COACH study (comparing cochlear implantation versus hearing aids in adults with severe hearing loss), will aim to find out what is better for this group of patients – hearing aids or a cochlear implant.4
COACH is the first study world-wide set up to answer this question and could change the way patients are treated in the UK and around the world.
The group of patients included in this ground-breaking research are those with hearing test results and speech understanding scores that fall just outside the range where they would be eligible to receive a cochlear implant on the NHS.5
Dr Pádraig Kitterick, Head of Audiological Science, National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, Australia, Co-Chief Investigator for the COACH study said:
“The COACH trial is a landmark research study in the field of hearing loss and it will address an important question about who can benefit from cochlear implants. We are delighted to have secured investment to enable the NHS to deliver this important clinical trial, which will be led by a world-leading team of academics, clinicians, and scientists. But more importantly it has been designed and developed with patients living with severe hearing loss.”
The trial will bring together the research expertise in the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, supported by the world-class research infrastructure of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. This is a great example of the UK and our National Health Service being at the forefront of conducting clinical trials to improve the lives of people with hearing loss both here at home and around the world.”
- A cochlear implant is a small, electronic device that is surgically placed in the ear and provides a sense of hearing to people who have permanent deafness – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hearing-loss/treatment/
Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre
The Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre is a partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), working with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
It is one of 20 prestigious centres around the country working in collaboration to translate medical research into the treatments, therapies and technology that will save lives and improve health in the future. Nottingham is one of the largest BRCs in the country outside of those in Oxford, Cambridge and London.
The centre was funded by the National Institute of Health Research, the research arm of the NHS, who confirmed £23.6 million of investment in research locally at the BRC’s launch in 2017.
More information is available on our website: https://www.nottinghambrc.nihr.ac.uk/
About the NIHR
The mission of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We do this by:
- Funding high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care;
- Investing in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services;
- Partnering with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research;
- Attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges;
- Collaborating with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system;
- Funding applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries.
NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Its work in low and middle income countries is principally funded through UK Aid from the UK government.
Source: University of Nottingham