In an effort to reduce health-care disparities, there has been a recent surge of interest in the remote provision of care. Audiologists have begun to provide screening, diagnostic, and rehabilitative services via telehealth technologies.
To evaluate the feasibility and perceived benefits of providing remote hearing aid follow-up appointments in a controlled clinical environment and in participants' homes.
A descriptive quasi-experimental study was completed.
The study consisted of two phases. The in-clinic phase included 50 adults with hearing loss who participated in remote hearing aid follow-up appointments at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A subgroup of 21 adults from the original in-clinic phase plus one additional participant completed the in-home appointments.
Data collection and analysis:
All participants completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and study-designed questionnaires. All participants were asked to install proprietary distance support (DS) client software on a laptop or desktop computer and participate in hearing aid follow-up appointments.
The majority of participants in both groups installed the DS client software with no assistance other than written instructions, and indicated a preference for DS appointments over face-to-face appointments.
On average, participants and the study audiologist were satisfied with remote hearing aid follow-up visits. Additional support might be needed for older patients with little confidence in their ability to interact with technology.