Investigating the Prevalence and Impact of Device-Related Problems Associated With Hearing Aid Use

Int J Audiol. 2020 Feb 27;1-9. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2020.1731615. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: To explore the prevalence of device-related problems associated with hearing aid use, participants' help-seeking behaviours for these problems, and factors associated with hearing aid problems.Design: A prospective convenience cohort design surveying 413 adult hearing aid users (34-97 years of age) recruited from seven clinics across Australia.Results: Almost all participants (98%) indicated that they were experiencing at least one of the hearing aid problems included on the survey. The number of hearing aid related problems reported by participants ranged from 0 to 25 (of a possible 26), with a mean of 10 problems (SD = 5). The three most reported problems were related to difficulty hearing in noisy environments, hearing in windy environments, and understanding certain voices. Participants had reported less than half (46.33%) of the total problems identified to their clinic (range = 0-100%, mean = 43.40, SD = 13.92). Participants who reported experiencing a greater number of hearing aid problems also reported lower levels of hearing aid benefit, and satisfaction with their hearing aids.Conclusions: The majority of hearing aid owners experience problems with their hearing aids. Addressing these problems would likely contribute to improved hearing aid outcomes.

Keywords: Hearing loss; audiologist; hearing aid; hearing aid issues; hearing aid management; hearing aid outcomes; hearing aid problems; survey.