Telemedicine for Adults With Cochlear Implants in the United Kingdom (CHOICE): Protocol for a Prospective Interventional Multisite Study

Helen Cullington*, Padraig Kitterick, Philippa Darnton, Tracy Finch, Kate Greenwell, Carol Riggs, Mark Weal, Dawn-Marie Walker, Andrew Sibley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:
Cochlear implants provide hearing to approximately 750,000 people with deafness worldwide; these patients require lifelong follow-up. Care for adults with implants in the United Kingdom occurs at one of 19 centers, which may be far from the patients’ homes. In a previous randomized controlled trial, we successfully introduced person-centered care. We designed, implemented, and evaluated the following remote care pathway: a personalized web-based support tool, home hearing check, self–device adjustment, and upgrading of sound processors at home rather than in the clinic. The remote care group had a significant increase in empowerment after using the tools, and the patients and clinicians were keen to continue. We would now like to scale up these improvements as an option for >12,000 UK adults using implants; we are commissioning an independent evaluation of this intervention and rollout to establish if it achieves its aims of more empowered and confident patients; more accessible and equitable care; stable hearing; more efficient, person-centered, and scalable service; and more satisfied and engaged patients and clinicians.

Objective:
This study aims to evaluate the impact and rollout of a person-centered clinical care pathway via telemedicine for adults with cochlear implants in the United Kingdom, using both outcomes and process evaluation.

Methods:
This project will scale up and evaluate a person-centered long-term follow-up pathway for adults using cochlear implants through a personalized website, including a home hearing check, uploading photos of cochlear implant site, listening in noise and music practice, ordering of spares, questionnaires, and other resources. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses will be conducted, and they will be both an outcome and process evaluation.

Results:
As of July 2021, the trial is closed, and all data collection is complete. The evaluation report is expected to be published in December 2021, and the research data have not yet been analyzed.

Conclusions:
This project will present the results of the first scaling up of a remote care pathway for adults with cochlear implants in the United Kingdom.

Trial Registration:
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN51668922; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN51668922

International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID):
DERR1-10.2196/27207
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27207
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022

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