Skip to main content

Hearing Aids and Individuals with Cognitive Disorders


This pilot study will evaluate procedures that will help determine the impact of hearing aid interventions in older individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD).

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
55 Years 85 Years All No
December 1, 2019
May 31, 2021

  • Diagnosis of mild or moderate major cognitive disorder (e.g., Alzheimer disease)
  • Adult-onset, mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss


  • Non-native English speaker
  • Prior hearing aid experience

To date, there is no high-quality evidence to support or negate the use of hearing aids in older adults with AD/ADRD to reduce communication difficulty, dementia-related symptoms, and caregiver burden. On one hand, it is likely that customized hearing aids fitted by audiologists using best practices could generate optimal outcomes. On the other hand, audiologists could fit low-cost, noncustomized amplification devices in this group to reduce the cost of hearing-aid intervention, while yielding reasonable outcomes. This pilot study will assess different approaches to using hearing aids in cognitively impaired individuals. The collected data will provide valuable information for the design of a future clinical trial.

Participants and their caregivers will be randomly assigned to three intervention groups: an Audiologist-Based Group, in which audiologists will fit hearing aids using established procedures; a Service-Only Group, in which audiology services (counseling and education) plus hearing aids that provide minimum amplification will be provided; and a Device-Only Group, in which participants will have minimum services regarding the pre-fitting, selection, and orientation of the hearing aids.

Researchers will measure the hearing-aid benefits, daily activity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and caregiver burden 6 weeks later.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of Iowa
Iowa City Iowa 52242 Recruiting Yu-Hsiang Wu, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville Tennessee 37232 Recruiting Todd Ricketts, PhD

Yu-Hsiang Wu

  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Name Role Affiliation
Yu-Hsiang Wu, PhD Principal Investigator University of Iowa

Name Phone Email
Yu-Hsiang Wu, PhD 319-335-8728
Elizabeth Stangl, AuD 31-335-9758


Impact of Hearing Aid Intervention on Individuals With Cognitive Disorders