A comparison of three interventions for profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
Prospective, crossover randomized clinical trial.
Fifteen participants with profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
Three potential technical interventions were compared: Bone Conduction Device on softband, Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS), and Remote Microphone . Each intervention was randomly trialed for a period of 3 weeks, separated by a 1 week washout period.
Speech in noise recognition test performed under four conditions (lateral noise poorer ear, lateral noise better ear, speech poorer ear, speech better ear). Standardized questionnaires (Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit, Bern Benefit in Single Sided Deafness Questionnaire, and Speech, Spatial, and Other Qualities 12) were used to evaluate amplification benefit at baseline and following each intervention.
The use of remote microphone provided the best results in the speech recognition in noise test. A benefit in some signal-to-noise ratios was presented of the CROS over bone conduction device on softband in the Speech Poor Ear condition. On questionnaires of benefit, participants did not rate a particular intervention as significantly better than any other. Following the study, CROS was the intervention preferred by the 8 of 15 participants (53%). The majority of participants (80%) chose to continue with an intervention rather than no treatment.
The use of all interventions resulted in increased performance in speech recognition in noise and rated higher on subjective benefits in comparison with baseline. People with SSD are a heterogeneous population when considering perceived difficulties. Future research should focus on segmenting the population of SSD depending on factors such as etiology, high frequency loss in the better ear, and age of acquired loss for the poorer ear. This stratification may possibly increase the benefit for the patient in terms of more individual-based clinical routines.