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Deadline: February 5, 2018

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Hearing Health Care for Adults: Improving Access and Affordability (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

The Hearing Health Care for Adults: Improving Access and Affordability solicitation seeks to support applications on hearing loss and hearing health care in adults in support of improving access and affordability. Appropriate studies may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Population Based Studies:

  • Conduct studies, including longitudinal studies, in diverse populations to better understand the risk and natural history of hearing loss, risk factors, and comorbidities of hearing loss.
  • Conduct studies documenting the impact of hearing loss and its treatment on patient outcomes, including health, social function, employment, quality of life, and independence and the need for social services.
  • Conduct studies addressing the economic burden of hearing loss.
  • Conduct research on the health and economic benefits of identifying and treating adult hearing loss early.
  • Conduct studies addressing gaps in knowledge about variations in the incidence of hearing loss among and across racial and ethnic populations and across geographic areas.
  • Conduct studies addressing hearing health care needs across diverse populations.
  • Conduct studies seeking to improve understanding of hearing health care disparities and to investigate how economic, racial, cultural, gender, and age-related factors may influence hearing health care use and patient-centered outcomes.

2. Innovative Models:

  • Evaluate the comparative effectiveness of different care delivery models and the utilization of new technologies to improve care.
  • Evaluate innovative models including, but not limited to, community health workers, telehealth, mobile health, retail clinics, and self-administered hearing health care, with outcomes that are patient centered.
  • Conduct studies targeting and developing affordable and accessible interventions to meet the unique and varying needs of adults with hearing loss, including racial/ethnic minorities.
  • Conduct research addressing rural health issues potentially affecting hearing health care utilization and the unique hearing health care needs of rural populations.
  • Evaluating the efficacy and efficiency of aural rehabilitation programs in a large-scale, long-term, and systematic way, using standardized outcome measures to full meet tests of scientific rigor.
  • Develop quality metrics and measures to evaluate hearing health care services with a focus on measures that are applicable to communicating in the complex environments of daily life with relevance to communication-focused patient outcomes.

3. Technologies:

  • Conduct effectiveness and comparative-effectiveness studies of hearing technologies using consumer-relevant parameters across the varying levels of severity of hearing loss.
  • Conduct research into the design of hearing aids and hearing assistive technologies with a focus on improved clarity, reduced background noise, improved ease of use (i.e., dexterity issues for older adults), and compatibility with other assistive and communications technologies.
  • Determine characteristics of direct-to-consumer hearing aids providing patient benefit, including technology performance characteristics, as well as patient education components.
  • Develop a self-testing and self-fitting hearing aid technology, considering access, affordability, and requisite information for patient education and ease of use (i.e., dexterity issues for older adults), and compatibility with other assistive and communications technologies.
  • Investigate the relative risks and benefits of new technological approaches in comparison to the traditional models of hearing health care delivery using patient-centered outcomes, such as the benefit to real-world communication function and health-related quality of life (rather than traditional audiologic outcomes, such as traditional audiometric tests performed in a sound-treated booth).

4. Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research:

  • Research teams seeking to address hearing loss as public health concern with cross-disciplinary training are especially encouraged. These teams include knowledge and experience in research hearing loss and its treatment, methodology, epidemiological methods, advanced biostatistics, health services, health economics research methods, etc.
  • Research interaction and collaboration among the many relevant parties (e.g., researchers, service providers, patient-advocacy organizations, professional organizations, and industry) is encouraged. Community-based participatory research is encouraged.

This solicitation uses the Exploratory/Developmental (R01) mechanism, which encourages applications that will focus on testing hypotheses in projects larger in scope and duration than the R21 mechanism. A companion FOA for R21 projects (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-17-227.html) encourages exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects.

Amount: Grants range up to $275,000 over two years with no more than $200,000 to be awarded in either year. The project period is for up to two years.

Eligibility: Higher education institutions; nonprofit organizations; for-profit organizations; governments; and other, including independent school districts, Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities; Native American Tribal Organizations; faith-based or community-based organizations; regional organizations; and non-domestic entities (foreign institutions).

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=299916

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