Analysis of Performance on Cognitive Test Measures Before, During, and After 6 Months of Hearing Aid Use: A Single-Subject Experimental Design Purpose The present study examined the effect of hearing aid use on cognitive test performance using a single-subject treatment design. Method Six participants 54 to 64 years old with sensorineural hearing loss were fitted with hearing aids. Participants used the hearing aids for approximately 8 hr each day ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2016
Analysis of Performance on Cognitive Test Measures Before, During, and After 6 Months of Hearing Aid Use: A Single-Subject Experimental Design
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jamie L. Desjardins
    University of Texas at El Paso
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jamie L. Desjardins: jdesjardins@utep.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2016
Analysis of Performance on Cognitive Test Measures Before, During, and After 6 Months of Hearing Aid Use: A Single-Subject Experimental Design
American Journal of Audiology, June 2016, Vol. 25, 127-141. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0067
History: Received October 28, 2015 , Revised January 13, 2016 , Accepted January 19, 2016
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2016, Vol. 25, 127-141. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0067
History: Received October 28, 2015; Revised January 13, 2016; Accepted January 19, 2016
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The present study examined the effect of hearing aid use on cognitive test performance using a single-subject treatment design.

Method Six participants 54 to 64 years old with sensorineural hearing loss were fitted with hearing aids. Participants used the hearing aids for approximately 8 hr each day for the duration of the study. A battery of cognitive tests was administered to participants during baseline (pre–hearing aid fitting), treatment (hearing aid use), and withdrawal (post–hearing aid use) study phases over a period of 6 months of hearing aid use.

Results All participants showed significant improvements in performance on the cognitive test measures with hearing aid use. The most significant treatment effects were evidenced at 2 to 4 weeks of hearing aid use on the Listening Span Test and an auditory selective attention task. In many cases, cognitive performance scores returned to baseline levels after the participant stopped using the hearing aids.

Conclusion The findings from this study are consistent with the hypothesis that hearing aid use may improve cognitive performance by improving audibility and decreasing the cognitive load of the listening task.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by a New Century Scholars Grant from the American Speech Language Hearing Foundation awarded to Jamie L. Desjardins. Special thanks to the Starkey Corporation for providing the hearing aids used in this study.
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