To read and download Spend2Save: Investing in hearing technology improves lives and save society money - A Europe wide strategy, please click here to download: Spend2Save (2016). Please find a summary of the report here: Spend2Save - Summary (2016).
Translations of the summary can be found here:
The report and research have been supported by an educational grant from Cochlear.
This report summarises the current status of adult hearing loss which is Europe’s growing challenge, together with European data and economic work, which shows that the return on investment of managing hearing loss well is 10:1.
- 51 million adults across Europe have hearing loss and this number is growing (EFHOH 2016)
- Hearing Loss is the number one cause of Years Lost to Disability in those over 70 in Western Europe (Davis 2016)
- Those with severe hearing loss are at five times the risk of developing dementia as those with normal hearing (Lin 2012)
- In older age people with hearing loss are at greater risk of social isolation and reduced mental well-being (Shield 2006)
- Older people with hearing loss are two and half times more likely to experience depression than those without hearing loss (Mathews 2013) and are also at increased risk of major depression (Davis 2011)
- Social isolation has an effect on health (Cohen 1995) and in older people there is a strong correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline (Lin 2013), mental illness and dementia (Lin 2011) and premature death (Friburg 2014, Contrera 2015)
- Hearing loss is associated with greater use of medical and social services
- Those with hearing loss have higher rates of unemployment and underemployment (Kochkin 2015)
- The latest hearing technologies have been shown to ameliorate the impact of hearing loss and to be cost effective
- The use of hearing aids and cochlear implants increases employability and earning power
- The cost of NOT providing hearing technologies has been shown to be greater than the cost of providing them. (O’Neil et al., 2016)
Summary of recommendations
- Health systems and commissioners of health care should change the way they calculate the real cost of hearing loss to take in account the cost of NOT treating hearing loss
- A review across Europe of services for those with hearing loss to establish more cost effective practice in the delivery of hearing technology
- Review to include how current reimbursement criteria restrict access to hearing technologies A review of candidacy criteria for cochlear implants and hearing aids in those European states with restrictive measures
- National Adult Hearing Screening Programmes should be introduced to ensure that people are more aware of hearing loss and take action early to improve health and wellbeing and prevent additional costs later
- The development of a public health strategy in each European jurisdiction along the lines of the UK Action Plan on Hearing Loss to make hearing loss a focus of public health services
- Develop innovative service models including the latest innovations in teletherapy and health provision so that services can be delivered cost effectively
- More training for audiology and ENT/ORL professionals on the criteria and benefits in referring people for cochlear implantation
- Introduction of new EU standard for patient provision for cochlear implants that mirrors EN 15927:2010 for hearing aid users.
The report was launched with EHIMA, AEA and EFHOH in Brussels in Sep 2017. Since then 10 translations of the Summary have been done (available here and on www.eurociu.org and in Nov 2018 another meeting was held in Brussels to discuss current and future actions.
Sue Archbold (far left) and Brian Lamb (middle) with
Shelly Chadha (WHO; 2nd left), Lidia Best (EFHOH; 2nd right) and Mark Laureyns (AEA; far right).