A protocol for the Hearing impairment in Adults: A Longitudinal Outcomes Study (HALOS)

Diana Tang, Yvonne Tran, Catherine McMahon, Jessica Turner, Janaki Amin, Kompal Sinha, Mohammad Nure Alam, Viviana Wuthrich, Kerry A. Sherman, Patrick Garcia, Rebecca Mitchell, Jeffrey Braithwaite, Greg Leigh, Shermin Lim, Giriraj Singh Shekhawat, Frances Rapport, Melanie Ferguson, Bamini Gopinath

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Background: Often considered an "invisible disability", hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases and the third leading cause for years lived with disability worldwide. Hearing loss has substantial impacts on communication, psychological wellbeing, social connectedness, cognition, quality of life, and economic independence. The Hearing impairment in Adults: A Longitudinal Outcomes Study (HALOS) aims to evaluate the: (1) impacts of hearing devices (hearing aids and/or cochlear implants), (2) differences in timing of these interventions and in long-Term outcomes between hearing aid and cochlear implant users, and (3) cost-effectiveness of early intervention for adult-onset hearing loss among hearing device users. 

Materials and methods: HALOS is a mixed-methods study collecting cross-sectional and longitudinal data on health and social outcomes from 908 hearing aid and/or cochlear implant users aged 40 years, recruited from hearing service providers across Australia. The quantitative component will involve an online survey at baseline (time of recruitment), 24-months, and 48-months and will collect audiological, health, psychosocial, functional and employment outcomes using validated instruments. The qualitative component will be conducted in a subset of participants at baseline and involve semi-structured interviews to understand the patient journey and perspectives on the Australian hearing service model. 

Ethics: This study has been approved by the Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee (ID: 11262) and Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (ID: LNR/22/SAC/88). Dissemination of results: Study findings will be disseminated to participants via a onepage summary, and to the public through publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at conferences.

Trial registration Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANZCTR) registration number: ACTRN12622000752763.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0283171
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023


  • Hearing loss
  • Mixed-methods study
  • Cross-sectional data
  • Longitudinal data
  • Health outcomes
  • Social outcomes


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