The "Hearing Aid Effect" 2005 A Rigorous Test of the Visibility of New Hearing Aid Styles Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2005
The "Hearing Aid Effect" 2005
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carole E. Johnson
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
    Department of Communication Disorders, 1199 Haley Center, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5232
  • Jeffrey L. Danhauer
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Reid B. Gavin
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Summer Raye Karns
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Amber C. Reith
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Ilian Priscilla Lopez
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: johns19@auburn.edu
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2005
The "Hearing Aid Effect" 2005
American Journal of Audiology, December 2005, Vol. 14, 169-175. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2005/019)
History: Received May 10, 2005 , Accepted September 17, 2005
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2005, Vol. 14, 169-175. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2005/019)
History: Received May 10, 2005; Accepted September 17, 2005

Purpose: The visibility of open ear (OE) styles of hearing instruments was rigorously investigated for their potential to reduce the stigma of wearing hearing aids.

Method: Three groups of 50 young adults (150 total) rated the visibility of 6 hearing aid styles—OE, invisible completely-in-the-canal (CIC), mini in-the-canal (m-ITC), half and full-shell in-the-ear (ITE), and behind-the-ear (BTE)—worn by a peer model with revealing hairstyle, photographed from 2 ft and at 3 different angles (45°, 90°, and 135°).

Results: CIC was rated significantly most "invisible" at 45° and 90°, OE and m-ITC were next at those angles, and OE and BTE were least invisible at 135°.

Conclusions: The findings have implications for counseling potential users who are reluctant to try hearing aids for cosmetic reasons.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to acknowledge and thank a major hearing aid manufacturer for an equipment loan for part of this study.
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