26 Nov -26 Nov
12:00 -13:30

Join the Board of the BAA for the Annual General Meeting.

Our President, Kath Lewis, will provide a president’s update. The treasurer – Barbara Gregg will present the accounts for 2019-2020 and there will be a report on the 2020 Elections and confirmation of incoming / outgoing board members.

As well as all the official business of the day, the BAA Annual award winners will also be announced.

Before and after the AGM, we will be joined by special guest speaker Professor Kevin Munro

12 noon – Saturday night fever (fatigue and dry cough): Sunday morning hearing loss?

The range and severity of symptoms arising from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is broad. There are long-term health consequences for a variety of organ systems, including the cardiovascular, renal, immune and nervous systems. Consequently, there are likely to be implications for many health disciplines

Viruses can cause hearing loss so SARS-CoV-2 may also damage hearing.  In addition, auditory neuropathy has been linked with Guillain-Barré syndrome, which has a known association with coronavirus. There are anecdotal cases of COVID-19 and hearing loss reported in national newspapers

In June, we published the first systematic review of coronavirus and the audio-vestibular system. The review highlighted five case reports and two cross-sectional studies, reporting diverse audio-vestibular symptoms including hearing loss (conductive and sensorineural), tinnitus, rotatory vertigo, otitis externa and undefined ear pain. However, the quality of evidence is limited due to under-reporting of details and significant methodological weaknesses.

More recently, we questioned post-hospitalised COVID-19 adults about their hearing. Participants were 121 COVID-19 adults admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. Sixteen (13.2%) reported a change in hearing and/or tinnitus when questioned eight weeks after discharge. However, it is unclear if changes are directly attributed to SARS-CoV-2, or to the many possible causes of hearing loss associated with critical care, local or systematic infections, vascular disorders and auto-immune disease.

We are about to embark on a carefully conducted clinical and diagnostic study that will provide an estimate of disease burden and help us understand the long-term manifestations of COVID-19 on the auditory system. The findings will help ensure that future COVID-19 patients receive appropriate assessment and management. Longer term, an understanding of the physiological bases of COVID-19-related deficits will inform measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on hearing.

1.10pm – Follow-up and monitoring in new adult NHS hearing aid users: the FAMOUS study

BACKGROUND: We have identified that: (i) 30% of hearing aids are under-used, a further 20% are not used at all, and (ii) follow-up and monitoring regimes vary, are ill-defined, and non-evidence based.

AIM: To investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a 4-step follow-up and monitoring intervention compared to usual care on:

(i) clinical outcomes,

(ii) impact on families,

(iii) experiences and acceptability to patients and providers, and (iv) cost to the NHS and benefit to society.

METHODS: The main study is a two-arm, multi-centre, parallel-group cluster randomised controlled trial with an internal pilot. Commencing in 2021, 5850 adults fitted with hearing aids will be recruited from 36 sites. Sites will be randomised (1:1) to either the intervention or usual care. The intervention was developed in collaboration with patients and is aimed at optimising hearing aid usage. It comprises:
(i) encouraging patients to reflect on situations in which hearing is difficult and hearing aids may help;
(ii) an individualised action plan to reinforce where and when to use the hearing aids;
(iii) monitoring, feedback and problem-solving support within seven days of receiving hearing aids;
(iv) follow-up for everyone at six weeks after fitting, as per NICE guidelines, but augmented with a review of action plans and the formation of coping plans if necessary.

The primary outcome is self-reported hearing aid use at 12 months after initial fitting. Secondary outcomes include hearing-related and health-related QoL along with impact on others.

IMPACT AND DISSEMINATION: Our partnership with charities, professional bodies, patients and education providers will ensure participants, public, professionals and NHS decision makers are engaged and informed of the results. A process evaluation will create a blueprint for those commissioning/delivering services by setting out the core barriers/enablers and the costs/resources necessary to embed and sustain in practice.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme (NIHR131159). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care

Speaker Biography

Kevin is Ewing Professor of Audiology, Director of the Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness (ManCAD), Deputy Director of the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and theme lead for Hearing Health. He is an honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist at Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

He is a state registered clinical scientist with experience in all areas of adult and paediatric assessment and rehabilitation. Before entering academia, he was an audiology healthcare professional and worked at a variety of locations across the UK including Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton. He has spent extended periods of time at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Kevin is the only audiologist to be awarded NIHR Senior Investigator status, is Principal Fellow of the British Society of Audiology, Expert Advisor for the NICE Centre for Guidelines, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the Australian National Acoustic Laboratories. HE is Chair of the North West Regional Advisory Committee for NIHR Research for Patient Benefit. He has held many positions within the profession, including Chair of the British Society of Audiology and Chair of the Council of the International Journal of Audiology.  He is an honorary life member of the British Society of Audiology.