Hearing aid satisfaction and use in the advanced digital era

Authors

  • Ricky Kaplan-Neeman PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Hearing, Speech, and Language Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    2. Department of Communication Disorders, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Department of Communication Disorders, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, 52621 Israel
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  • Chava Muchnik PhD,

    1. Hearing, Speech, and Language Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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  • Minka Hildesheimer PhD,

    1. Hearing, Speech, and Language Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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  • Yael Henkin PhD

    1. Hearing, Speech, and Language Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To evaluate satisfaction ratings and use patterns of advanced digital hearing aids (HAs) in a group of hearing-impaired adults by means of self-report questionnaires.

Study Design:

A self report questionnaire study.

Methods:

One hundred seventy-seven hearing-impaired adults who were fitted with advanced digital HAs at the Speech and Hearing Center at Sheba Medical Center were asked to participate in a structured telephone interview regarding HA satisfaction and use by means of the Satisfaction With Amplification in Daily Life (SADL) questionnaire. Patients who were not using their HAs completed a nonuse questionnaire.

Results:

One hundred thirty-one patients participated in the survey, yielding a response rate of 74%. Eighty-three percent used their HAs regularly, whereas 17% were nonusers. Of the users, 92% were satisfied to some degree with their HAs. The global SADL score was 5.12 on a scale of 1 to 7. Background variables that were significantly associated with satisfaction ratings were hours of HA use per day, fitting mode (binaural vs. monaural), age, and degree of hearing loss. Although nonuse was not significantly associated with background variables, the main reasons for nonuse were excessive amplification in background noise and minimal functional benefit.

Conclusions:

High satisfaction and use rates were characteristic of adults fitted with advanced digital HAs. Patients should be advised that longer use of HAs per day may lead to higher satisfaction and that binaural amplification is advantageous, especially while communicating in noise. Finally, expectation from HA functionality in challenging listening situations should be realistic, as additional research and technology development is still needed.

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