Purpose: The purpose of this research note is to identify and prioritize diseases important for detection in adult hearing health care delivery systems. Method: Through literature review and expert consultation, the authors identified 195 diseases likely to occur in adults complaining of hearing loss. Five neurotologists rated the importance of disease on 3 dimensions related to the necessity of detection prior to adult hearing aid fitting. Results: Ratings of adverse health consequences, diagnostic difficulty, and presence of nonotologic symptoms associated with these diseases resulted in the identification of 104 diseases potentially important for detection prior to adult hearing aid fitting. Conclusions: Current and evolving health care delivery systems, including direct-to-consumer sales, involve inconsistent means of disease detection vigilance prior to device fitting. The first steps in determining the safety of these different delivery methods are to identify and prioritize which diseases present the greatest risk for poor health outcomes and, thus, should be detected in hearing health care delivery systems. Here the authors have developed a novel multidimensional rating system to rank disease importance. The rankings can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative detection methods and to inform public health policy. The authors are currently using this information to validate a consumer questionnaire designed to accurately identify when prefitting medical evaluations should be required for hearing aid patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing