What can help increase social engagement, improve listening, confidence and increase well-being? A recent study shows how wireless technologies are making that impact on young people with bone anchored hearing systems.
Imran Mulla, Research Scientist at the Ear Foundation shares his findings from the study, which looks at the benefits of teenager’s use of wireless technology with their bone anchored hearing systems. The qualitative study was conducted with young people who use Oticon Medical’s Ponto Plus and the Oticon Medical Streamer with the Oticon ConnectLine microphone/streaming devices.
Below, you’ll meet James Guppy, one of the research participants. He explains how he uses the Streamer with the Oticon ConnectLine microphone and streaming devices. He uses the Streamer with his phone, to watch TV and for playing games on the computer. He uses the microphone system at home with his family and in school where he’s just completed his training to become a mechanic.
More About the Study
“Even though the technology available to bone conduction implant users has developed considerably, and in spite of the scientific evidence available on the benefits, older children with hearing loss have reported limited uptake of wireless technology. The study therefore proposed to explore the views and experiences of young bone conduction implant users in the use of wireless technology,” explains Imran Mulla.
The study was conducted using a multiple case study design and in-depth qualitative data collection methods with three young people and their families including initial interviews, daily diaries kept for a month and a final semi-structured interview. Questionnaires were also used to quantitatively compare differences in listening with and without wireless connectivity.
The Results of the Study were Astounding
The study showed significant improvements in every situation for each of the three young people involved in the study. Wireless technology options can provide a much-needed option for young people with hearing loss to access a wider range of listening environments and devices that many of their hearing peers would have daily access to. With the correct support and advocacy, teenagers can be helped to take ownership for their listening in everyday situations.
After the study, one of the young people said: ”Using wireless technology has had a great impact; it has made everything so much easier. It has improved my ability to just listen to people, just hear people, so much more ease to it. I don’t have to focus on anything; I can just let it flow in.”
A parent of one of the participants said: “My 11-year old said that she no longer feels on her own now, where she felt left out before. She was able to hear what I was doing in the house; we even did games in the kitchen. She was joining in with the family. Now she wants to do after school activities, which she didn’t want to do before.”