Protocol for a qualitative study exploring the lived experience of hearing loss and patient reported experience in the UK: the HeLP study

Helen Pryce*, Sian Karen Smith, Georgina Burns-O'Connell, Rachel Shaw, Saira Hussain, Jonathan Banks, Amanda Hall, Rebecca Knibb, Rosemary Greenwood, Jean Straus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Worldwide, hearing loss is a significant public health issue and one of the most common chronic health conditions experienced by older adults. Hearing loss is associated with communication difficulties, social withdrawal, isolation and lower quality of life. Although hearing aid technology has improved significantly, the workload of managing hearing aids has increased. The aim of this qualitative study is to develop a novel theory of people's lived experience of hearing loss across the lifespan.

METHODS: Eligible participants will be young people and adults aged 16 years and above who have a hearing loss and carers/family members of people with a hearing loss. This study will use individual, in-depth face-to-face or online interviews. With participants' permission, interviews will be audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A grounded theory approach to concurrent data gathering and analysis will develop grouped codes and categories and link these to provide a novel theory to describe the experience of hearing loss.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was approved by the West of Scotland Research Ethics Service (approval date: 6 May 2022 ref: 22/WS/0057) and the Health Research Authority and Health and Care Research Wales Approval (approval date: 14 June 2022; IRAS project ID: 308816). The research will inform the development of a Patient Reported Experience Measure to improve the information and support given to patients. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed articles and at academic conferences, as well as to our patient and public involvement groups, healthcare professionals, audiology services and local commissioners.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere069363
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2023

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