INTRODUCTION: Hearing loss (HL) is prevalent and independently related to cognitive decline and dementia. There has never been a randomized trial to test if HL treatment could reduce cognitive decline in older adults.
METHODS: A 40-person (aged 70-84 years) pilot study in Washington County, MD, was conducted. Participants were randomized 1:1 to a best practices hearing or successful aging intervention and followed for 6 months. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02412254.
RESULTS: The Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders Pilot (ACHIEVE-P) Study demonstrated feasibility in recruitment, retention, and implementation of interventions with no treatment-related adverse events. A clear efficacy signal of the hearing intervention was observed in perceived hearing handicap (mean of 0.11 to -1.29 standard deviation [SD] units; lower scores better) and memory (mean of -0.10 SD to 0.38 SD).
DISCUSSION: ACHIEVE-P sets the stage for the full-scale ACHIEVE trial (N = 850, recruitment beginning November 2017), the first randomized trial to determine efficacy of a best practices hearing (vs. successful aging) intervention on reducing cognitive decline in older adults with HL.