Hearing loss will affect one in two of us. Here at Aston, we are undertaking Hearing Loss and Patient Reported Experience research.

There is typically no cure, and in most cases people are given hearing aids which amplify all sounds, making it difficult to distinguish between them. Learning to hear through hearing aids takes time and effort. Many people reject hearing aids and find the work of getting used to them more difficult than the work of living with hearing loss. We consider this trade off a logical reaction.

We want to understand the work of living with hearing loss and the work of accessing and living with hearing aids. From this we will develop a Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) for use in Audiology.

Contact us at: audiology_helpstudy@aston.ac.uk

Public and Partner Groups 

  • National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)
  • University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Hearing Therapy and Audiology, St Martins Hospital Bath
  • Bristol Children’s Hospital
  • NHS Tayside
  • IDA Institute
  • Hereford and Worcester CCG

People and publications

Our research team

Helen Pryce

Helen Pryce: Helen is the Chief Investigator and overall research lead. Helen is a Hearing Therapist and Senior Lecturer in Audiology. 


Saira Hussain

Saira Hussain
Saira is a Clinical Scientist, Researcher and Teaching Fellow in Audiology. Saira will lead some of the qualitative interviews with people in the Birmingham region.


Amanda Hall

Amanda Hall
Amanda is a Clinical Scientist and Lecturer in Audiology. Amanda will lead the project in the Bristol area and oversee the implementation aspects.


Rebecca Knibb

Rebecca Knibb
Rebecca is a Chartered Psychologist and practitioner Health Psychologist with 25 years of experience of conducting research into the psychological impact of allergies. Rebecca brings particular expertise in questionnaire development and will lead our questionnaire work. 


Rachel Shaw

Rachel Shaw
Rachel is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health Psychologist registered with the Health & Care Professions Council. Rachel has particular expertise in the use of qualitative research methods. 

Georgina Burns-O'Connell
Georgina is a Research Associate and Teaching Associate in Audiology. Georgina has expertise in qualitative research methods, particularly in the area of lived experience of hearing health, and she will be conducting qualitative interviews and analysis for the project.

Rosemary Greenwood
Rosemary is a senior statistician and advisor with the NIHR Research Design Service with over 30 years of experience who has advised on previous patient reported measures which are now validated tools. Rosemary will provide guidance and steering to the quantitative phases of the project.

Sian Noble
Sian is a Senior Lecturer in Health Economics at the University of Bristol. She has particular interest in examining the cost effectiveness of novel interventions. Sian will provide steering and guidance to the economic aspects of the HELP study.

Melanie Ward
Melanie leads an Adult Audiology and Hearing Therapy service for Health Care Research Group (HCRG) commissioned by Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG. Melanie is a Hearing Therapist with a long involvement in research with Aston’s Applied Audiology group. She will enable recruitment from her clinical site for all phases of the project.

Laura Turton
Laura leads the Audiology service for NHS Tayside in Scotland. Laura has a long track record in research and in working with the British Society of Audiology. Laura will enable recruitment via her clinical teams for all phases of the project.

Jon Banks
Jon is an implementation scientist and qualitative researcher with ARC West. Jon is based at the University of Bristol where he contributes qualitative expertise to health research. 

Our PPI leads

Jean Straus

Jean is a public member of the research team with long-term experience of (sudden) hearing loss and audiology services. She has been involved in PPI activities as a public researcher for many years with a particular interest in audiology research and writes an opinion column for the RNID magazine. Jean will lead the PPI strand of the work throughout the phases of the project.

Research projects

The first study: To develop a model to understand the experience of hearing loss. We plan a review of the existing literature and qualitative interview study. 

The second study: To develop a Patient Reported Experience Measure tool based on information gained in the first study, followed by validity and reliability testing.
The third study: To implement the Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) in contrasting clinical locations and to consider which service changes the PREM might lead to.