Expanding Clinical Trials Designs to Extend Equitable Hearing Care

Ear Hear. 2022 Jul-Aug;43(Suppl 1):23S-32S. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000001165. Epub 2020 Jun 13.


Clinical trials are critically important to translate scientific innovations into clinical practice. Hearing healthcare depends on this translational approach to improve outcomes and quality of life. Across the spectrum of healthcare, there is a lack of diverse participation in clinical trials, a failure to recruit and retain underrepresented and underserved populations, and an absence of rigorous dissemination and implementation of novel research to broader populations. The field of hearing healthcare research would benefit from expanding the types and designs of clinical trials that extend hearing healthcare and novel interventions to diverse populations, as well as emphasizing trials that evaluate factors influencing how that care can be delivered effectively. This article explores the following: (1) the role, value, and design types of clinical trials (randomized controlled, cluster randomized, stepped wedge, and mixed methods) to address health equity; (2) the importance of integrating community and stakeholder involvement; and (3) dissemination and implementation frameworks and designs for clinical trials (hybrid trial designs). By adopting a broader range of clinical trial designs, hearing healthcare researchers may be able to extend scientific discoveries to a more diverse population.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Hearing
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Research Design*