The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

Update on the HOT Project

Many of you will have read in the BATOD magazine and on the website about the Hearing Outcomes in Teenagers (HOT) Project, a follow-up study of a group of young people previously involved in a trial of universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS). The HOT Project is the first study in the world to look at the effects of UNHS and early identification of hearing impairment on speech, language, literacy, and other important outcomes in the teenage years.

The project has been underway for more than a year now and already over half (52%) of the families who participated previously have signed up to help us out again. This is a great start but means we still have some way to go to get to our target recruitment of 80% - a figure which would allow us to be confident in the conclusions we produce from this research.

There are two major recruitment challenges; the first is being able to track down the families who took part last time so we can invite them to participate in the study. Many of our families still live in the same areas but others have moved away to areas across England, as well as further afield within the United Kingdom.

The second challenge we face is encouraging the teenagers and their families to take part in the project once we have invited them letters often go unread or other priorities understandably take over. We have found that the most successful strategy to address this is to have a known and trusted professional who works with the teenager explain about the project to them, why it is so important, and what they get for helping out. Many Teachers of the Deaf have already done this for us, with excellent results.

Just a reminder that we are looking to recruit teenagers:

  • Who have a hearing loss that is at least moderate in both ears and that has been present since they were a baby.
  • Who were born between 1993-1996 in any of these areas of Southern England:
    • Bath
    • Portsmouth
    • Southampton
    • Swindon
  • Or between 1992-1997 in any of these areas of Greater London:
    • Brent and Harrow
    • Hillingdon
    • Redbridge
    • Waltham Forest

Do you know of any teenagers who meet these criteria? Do you think you may be able to help out by talking to some families for us? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about how we can boost recruitment to this study?

It would be great to hear from you, please do get in touch!

Or contact us directly: 02380 793063