Do experienced hearing aid users know how to use their hearing AIDS correctly?
ABSTRACT To assess experienced hearing aid users' ability to use their hearing aids correctly.
In this study, we developed the Practical Hearing Aid Skills Test (PHAST) to objectively test a hearing aid user's ability to manipulate his or her hearing aids. The PHAST requires hearing aid users to perform 8 hearing aid care and use tasks that are basic skills typically taught to new hearing aid users at the time of their hearing aid fitting. The PHAST was administered to a group of 50 experienced hearing aid users. In addition, participants were administered questionnaires about hearing aid satisfaction (i.e., Satisfaction With Amplification in Daily Life; R. M. Cox & G. C. Alexander, 1999), benefit (i.e., Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit; R. M. Cox & G. C. Alexander, 1995), and use.
Participants' performance on the PHAST ranged from 48% to 100%, and the scores were normally distributed around the mean (78.56%). No significant relationship was observed between the PHAST and any of the other tests administered in this study. The only variable significantly associated with participants' performance on the PHAST was age.
Results from this study suggest that experienced hearing aid users range from having an excellent understanding of how to use their hearing aids to a poor understanding. The variability in performance among experienced hearing aid users highlights the importance of directly assessing a client's ability to use his or her hearing aids.
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ABSTRACT: Hearing loss is common in older adults. Patients, clinicians, and health care staff often do not recognize hearing loss, particularly in its early stages, and it is undertreated. Age-related hearing loss or presbycusis, the most common type of hearing loss in older adults, is a multifactorial sensorineural loss that frequently includes a component of impaired speech discrimination. Simple office-based screening and evaluation procedures can identify potential hearing disorders, which should prompt audiologic referral to confirm the diagnosis with audiometric testing. The mainstay of treatment is amplification. For many older adults, accepting the need for amplification, selecting and purchasing a hearing aid, and getting accustomed to its use is a daunting and often frustrating process. There are numerous barriers to hearing aid use, the most common of which is dissatisfaction with its performance across a range of sonic environments. Newer digital hearing aids have many features that improve performance, making them potentially more acceptable to users, but they are expensive and are not covered by Medicare. Hearing aids have been demonstrated to improve hearing function and hearing-related quality of life (QOL), but evidence is less robust for improving overall QOL. Depending upon the etiology of the hearing loss, other medical and surgical procedures, including cochlear implantation, may benefit older adults. Older adults with multiple morbidities and who are frail pose specific challenges for the management of hearing loss. These patients may require integration of hearing assessment and treatment as part of functional assessment in an interdisciplinary, team-based approach to care.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 03/2012; 307(11):1185-94. · 30.03 Impact Factor