Phonak encourages a shift in the narrative from focusing solely on audibility to emphasizing the holistic benefits of hearing care, with a particular focus on the relationship between hearing health and cognitive health. Hearing care professionals play a vital role to enable clients to understand the link between hearing, cognitive health and overall well-being.
Phonak supports research and innovation in hearing healthcare. We are committed to driving evidence in the field of holistic hearing care and healthy aging.
Two recent studies, ACHIEVE (Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders) and ENHANCE (Evaluation of Hearing Aids and Cognitive Effects) incorporate longitudinal observations, best practice audiological management, randomized control hearing interventions, and comprehensive cognitive assessments to provide more insight into the relationship between hearing loss and cognition.
Both studies were supported by Sonova’s research program and an in-kind donation of Phonak hearing aids.
The purpose of the ACHIEVE study is to determine whether best-practices hearing intervention and/or successful aging health education can slow the trajectory or prevent cognitive decline in older adults.
This study is a multi-center randomized control trial. The 977 participants were randomized to receive either hearing intervention or a healthy aging education program.
The ACHIEVE study is led by Co-Principal Investigators Frank Lin, MD, PhD and Josef Coresh, MD, PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Treating hearing loss in older adults who had more risk factors for cognitive decline slowed down loss of thinking and memory abilities by 48% over 3 years. 2
In the ENHANCE study, 160 participants who received hearing intervention, including hearing aid fitting, were followed up for 3 years and their performance on a computerized battery of cognitive tests was compared to 102 participants of the Australian Imaging Biomarker & Lifestyle Study of Ageing (AIBL) who did not receive hearing intervention.
The ENHANCE study is led by Principal Investigator Professor Julia Sarant, PhD from the University of Melbourne. 3
Hearing intervention with hearing aids may delay cognitive decline and the timely management of hearing loss may facilitate maintenance of cognitive abilities.
The Enhancing Cognitive Health with Hearing Optimization (ECHHO) program aims to equip hearing care professionals with resources to better integrate the topic of cognitive health into their discussions with clients.
The ECHHO program also provides a Clinical Enablement toolkit, containing multiple assets such as a leaflet, posters, conversation starters and social media posts among others. These can all be applied in the clinic and online to attract new clients and foster conversations.
Contact your local Phonak representative to learn more.
Sarant, J. et al. 2023
Lin, F., et al. (2023, July 17)
Professor Julia Sarant shared initial findings of the ENHANCE study in this 2020 blog article. She shares key takeaways and how this research might impact your clinical practice.
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1. Livingston, G.; Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ballard, C., Banejee, S. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6
2. Lin, F., et al. (2023, July 17). Hearing intervention versus health education control to reduce cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss in the USA (ACHIEVE): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial.
3. Sarant, J., et al. (2023, July 16-20). Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Hearing Loss: Outcomes for treated vs untreated groups at 3-year follow-up [Conference presentation]. AAIC 2023 Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.