Motivational interviewing (MI) has been used in consultation settings to motivate hearing aid users to increase hearing aid usage. However, the effect of MI on those who use their hearing aids only rarely or not at all has not been explored.
The aims of this pilot study were to evaluate the effect of MI counseling with elderly hearing aid recipients found to have low hearing aid use at a six-month follow-up appointment and to describe clients' subjective assessments of their perceived need for hearing aids three months after MI counseling.
The study had a within-subjects pretest-posttest design.
Forty seven hearing aid recipients who had used their new hearing aids, an average of <90 min/day, were recruited at a follow-up appointment six months after hearing aid fitting.
Thirty minutes of MI counseling was provided at the six-month follow-up appointment. If needed, hearing aid adjustments and technical support were also provided.
Data collection and analysis:
The effect of MI counseling in combination with adjustments and technical support was assessed in relation to datalogged hearing aid use, which was assessed immediately before (at the six-month follow-up) and three months after (at the nine-month follow-up) the intervention. Hearing aid experiences were also assessed three months after MI.
Thirty seven participants (79%) returned for the nine-month follow-up visit and had modest but significant increases in datalogged hearing aid use in the three months following MI counseling. Of the 37 participants who returned, 51% had increased their hearing aid use to at least 2 h/day after the MI counseling. Most of the 37 participants who attended the nine-month follow-up reported increased need for (59%) or increased benefit and contentment with (57%) their hearing aid three months after MI; these participants also had significantly higher datalogged hearing aid use following MI.
These findings suggest that follow-up appointments using MI counseling in conjunction with technical support may be useful for increasing hearing aid usage among low-users, and a randomized controlled trial is warranted.