About the Study

Why is this study being conducted?

Hearing aids are the most common and appropriate treatment for most adults with hearing loss. Approximately 30 million people over the age of 65 in the United States are affected by hearing loss, but only 20% of these individuals purchase and use hearing aids. The main goal of the Patient-Centered Hearing Aid Trial (P-CHAT) is to compare the benefits resulting from different ways of providing hearing aids to adults with hearing loss.

Who can participate?

In order to qualify for the study, you must:

  • Be 50-79 years old
  • Have never used (or tried using) hearing aids
  • Be able to purchase two discounted state-of-the-art hearing aids for $650
  • Be able to attend three in-person study sessions over a 6-month period
  • Fulfill other criteria

To find out if you are eligible, take a quick online screening.

Is there any compensation?

You will receive a $25 gift card after your first session, a $75 gift card after your third session, and a $20 travel reimbursement gift card for each session that you attend.

If you complete the entire study, you will receive a total of $160 in compensation in addition to being able to purchase two state-of-the-art, rechargeable hearing aids — which come with a 4-year warranty — for a highly discounted research price of $650.

What do participants have to do?

If you are eligible and decide to participate, you will attend three study sessions at your preferred research location (Chicago, Evanston, and Palos Hills, IL; or Galveston, TX).

At the first session, we will test your hearing and you will complete a few questionnaires. This session should last between 2-3 hours. You will then be provided with a pair of high-end, rechargeable hearing aids for the highly discounted research price of $650 (payable by credit/debit card or check). We will instruct you on how to use the hearing aids and you will be expected to wear them daily. You will come back for the following two sessions in 6 weeks and 6 months, respectively, and complete additional questionnaires regarding your experiences with the hearing aids. These follow-up sessions should last around 2 hours.

Where is the study conducted?

There are four P-CHAT research locations: three in the Chicago area and one in Galveston, TX.

  • Northwestern University, Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning (Evanston, IL)
  • Northwestern Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology (Chicago, IL)
  • Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center (Palos Hills, IL)
  • University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, TX)

For a list of study locations and directions, visit our research sites page.

What safety measures are being taken to decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19?

During the visits to the research sites, all participants are required to wear face coverings for the entire session and always maintain a 6-foot distance from those not involved in the research. Both research staff and participants will have their temperatures checked before arriving. Anyone feeling unwell should postpone their visit for another time.

Visit the COVID-19 Safety Info page to learn more.