ACHIEVE study participants were randomly assigned to either a hearing intervention or a health education control intervention.

Both ACHIEVE study interventions were delivered through four, one-hour sessions spread over the first three months after participants were randomized, and booster intervention sessions were provided at the semi-annual study visits. Participants in both interventions received the same amount of attention from study personnel during the study.

After three years, participants were offered the other intervention - for example, participants who received the control intervention were offered the hearing intervention, and vice versa.

Hearing Intervention

ACHIEVE used a best practice hearing intervention program developed by the University of South Florida. A man with gray hair holds a delicate hearing aid between his two hands

Participants who were randomized to the hearing intervention met with a certified study audiologist to review their hearing loss severity and assess their individual hearing needs. Once participants identified the situations where they had the most trouble hearing, the audiologist selected and verified the most appropriate devices (hearing aids and other hearing assistive technologies), and participants were instructed in how to optimize their hearing in their most important hearing situations.  

Information and guidance in the use of the hearing program were provided through a toolkit consisting of written and video materials designed to improve self-management of hearing loss while using hearing aids and other assistive devices. The toolkit included information about understanding hearing loss, communicating in quiet, communicating in difficult environments, using communication strategies and tactics, and resources for adults with hearing loss and their communication partner. 


Health Education Control Intervention

A scrub-clad healthcare worker shows an older woman a brochureThe health education control intervention followed the protocol and materials developed for the 10 Keys to Healthy Aging™ that is used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This interactive, dynamic program aims to target the causes of disease and disability that could be greatly reduced, postponed, or eliminated to promote successful and healthy aging in older adults.

Participants who were randomized to the health education control intervention met with a health educator to learn about a variety of health topic areas relevant to older adults and how to actively “take charge” of their health and well-being. Each intervention session with the health educator focused on one health topic. Examples of these topics include immunizations, cancer screenings, and maintaining healthy bones and joints.

The health educators tailored the intervention to each participant, guided each participant through the educational materials, and supplied ongoing support and encouragement over the duration of the study.