Do Experienced Hearing Aid Users Know How to Use Their Hearing Aids Correctly? Purpose To assess experienced hearing aid users' ability to use their hearing aids correctly. Method 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 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2009
Do Experienced Hearing Aid Users Know How to Use Their Hearing Aids Correctly?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jamie L. Desjardins
    Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Karen A. Doherty
    Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Contact author: Jamie L. Desjardins, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, 805 S. Crouse Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244. E-mail: jldesjar@syr.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2009
Do Experienced Hearing Aid Users Know How to Use Their Hearing Aids Correctly?
American Journal of Audiology, June 2009, Vol. 18, 69-76. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2009/08-0022)
History: Received July 16, 2008 , Accepted March 30, 2009
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2009, Vol. 18, 69-76. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2009/08-0022)
History: Received July 16, 2008; Accepted March 30, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 31

Purpose To assess experienced hearing aid users' ability to use their hearing aids correctly.

Method 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.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

Acknowledgments
This project was supported by funding from the Schneller Grant. Portions of this article were presented at the 2007 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Boston, and at the 2007 American Auditory Society meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. We would like to thank Sharon Sandridge for her helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.
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