Changes in Psychosocial Measures After a 6-Week Field Trial Purpose The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which intervention with hearing aids, namely, a 6-week hearing aid field trial, can minimize the psychosocial consequences of hearing loss in adults who have previously not sought treatment for their hearing loss. Method Twenty-four adults with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 13, 2017
Changes in Psychosocial Measures After a 6-Week Field Trial
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jamie L. Desjardins
    Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Karen A. Doherty
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, NY
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jamie L. Desjardins: jdesjardins@utep.edu
  • Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Associate Editor: Ryan McCreery
    Associate Editor: Ryan McCreery×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 13, 2017
Changes in Psychosocial Measures After a 6-Week Field Trial
American Journal of Audiology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 119-128. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0066
History: Received July 22, 2016 , Revised December 22, 2016 , Accepted January 12, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 119-128. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0066
History: Received July 22, 2016; Revised December 22, 2016; Accepted January 12, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which intervention with hearing aids, namely, a 6-week hearing aid field trial, can minimize the psychosocial consequences of hearing loss in adults who have previously not sought treatment for their hearing loss.

Method Twenty-four adults with mild to moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, who had never worn hearing aids or sought help for their hearing loss, participated in this study. Participants were fitted with receiver-in-canal hearing aids, bilaterally, and wore them for 6 weeks. Participants completed subjective measures of hearing handicap and attitudes about hearing loss and hearing aids before, during, and after the hearing aid trial. A control group of age-matched participants followed the same experimental protocol, except they were not fitted with hearing aids.

Results Using hearing aids for 6 weeks significantly reduced participants' perceived stigma of hearing aids, personal distress and inadequacy due to hearing difficulties, and hearing handicap.

Conclusions A hearing aid trial can have a positive effect on a person's attitudes toward wearing hearing aids and decrease hearing handicap.

Acknowledgments
This project was funded by a P30 Grant P30AG034464 from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Aging awarded to Karen A. Doherty. We would like to thank the GN ReSound company for supplying the hearing aids used in this study.
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