In the ENT department of the VU University Medical Center ‘hearing and communication’ is one of the core research topics. Our research has its motivation in questions generated from audiological practice and the rehabilitation of hearing-impaired people. We focus on understanding the origin and the effects of hearing impairment and the development of methods to reduce arising activity limitation and participation restriction.
To evaluate hearing capacity we mainly relay on measurements of speech reception in noise, as this condition covers the most prominent complaints of people seeking audiological care. The reason may be twofold: first, because environmental noise is so common, and second, because hearing problems due to impairment are likely to appear first under the most challenging conditions. The aspects of hearing impairment that have our special attention are the impaired auditory signal processing and the psycho-social consequences. In our signalprocessing oriented research projects we aim at understanding the causes of reduced speech intelligibility in noise in order to find ways of improving rehabilitation. In the psychosocially oriented research we aim at improving quality of life by a better and more fundamental understanding of the effects of hearing impairment on daily life.
The research described in this report is divided over four thematic topics:
- Cognition & Listening Effort
- Diagnostics, Screening & Prevention
- Intervention & Revalidation
- Models & Epidemiology