Could your clinic be one of 40 NHS sites across the UK to participate in the FAMOUS study? Organisers need your help to improve the assessment and management of adult hearing loss.
FAMOUS is an acronym for ‘Follow-up And Monitoring Of new USers of NHS hearing aids’ and comes in response to a guideline published by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2018. Highlighting uncertainties and variations in clinical practice, the guideline failed to identify any evidence on the effectiveness of follow-up and monitoring for new adult hearing aid users. NICE concluded that current practice varies, is ill-defined and is non-evidence based.
The scale and scope of FAMOUS is unparalleled in UK audiology. It will involve the recruitment of around 23,400 new adult hearing aid users across as many as 40 audiology services. It requires no previous experience in clinical research. There is no requirement to obtain consent. All patients attending for a new hearing aid fitting at a participating audiology clinic during a 12-week recruitment window will be enrolled. Addressing the gap in knowledge, this national project is an opportunity for NHS audiology services to work collaboratively to provide an evidence-base for clinical practice.
The organisers are looking for around 40 NHS audiology services to become research sites. The trial will compare the effectiveness of two models of follow-up and monitoring. One is the standard care currently provided by individual services. The other is based on the best possible evidence and is referred to as enhanced care.
The outcome measures that will be used to determine the effectiveness of the two models will be collected by the FAMOUS research team at 12 weeks and 12 months after fitting. Your service will not have to gather these data. Only when patients are contacted by letter at 12 weeks inviting them to complete the research questionnaires do they need to provide written consent. Please consider volunteering your department.