Factors Associated With Self-Reported Hearing Aid Management Skills and Knowledge Purpose Hearing aid management describes the skills and knowledge required for the handling, use, care, and maintenance of the hearing aid. The importance of hearing aid management skills and knowledge is evidenced by their association with hearing aid outcomes. However, the nature of this association and the influence of participant ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 06, 2018
Factors Associated With Self-Reported Hearing Aid Management Skills and Knowledge
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca J. Bennett
    Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia
    Ear Sciences Centre, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia
  • Carly J. Meyer
    School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Robert H. Eikelboom
    Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia
    Ear Sciences Centre, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia
    Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Julian D. Atlas
    Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia
    Ear Sciences Centre, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia
  • Marcus D. Atlas
    Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia
    Ear Sciences Centre, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia
  • 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 Rebecca J. Bennett: bec.bennett@earscience.org.au
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar×
  • Editor: Ryan McCreery
    Editor: Ryan McCreery×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 06, 2018
Factors Associated With Self-Reported Hearing Aid Management Skills and Knowledge
American Journal of Audiology, December 2018, Vol. 27, 604-613. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-18-0053
History: Received February 27, 2018 , Revised May 11, 2018 , Accepted June 13, 2018
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2018, Vol. 27, 604-613. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-18-0053
History: Received February 27, 2018; Revised May 11, 2018; Accepted June 13, 2018

Purpose Hearing aid management describes the skills and knowledge required for the handling, use, care, and maintenance of the hearing aid. The importance of hearing aid management skills and knowledge is evidenced by their association with hearing aid outcomes. However, the nature of this association and the influence of participant factors on this association are unknown. Accordingly, the aims of the current study were to (a) investigate participant factors that influence hearing aid management skills and knowledge and (b) investigate the impact of hearing aid management skills and knowledge on hearing aid outcomes.

Method Factors associated with hearing aid management skills and knowledge were investigated through an e-mail– and paper-based self-report survey, including the Hearing Aid Skills and Knowledge Inventory (Bennett, Meyer, Eikelboom, & Atlas, 2018b) and the International Outcomes Inventory for Hearing Aids (Cox & Alexander, 2002). The study sample included 518 adult hearing aid owners, ranging in age from 18 to 97 years (M = 71 years, SD = 14 years), 61% male and 39% female, recruited from seven hearing clinics across Australia.

Results Participant factors found to be associated with hearing aid skills and knowledge included participants' age, gender, style of hearing aid, age of current hearing aid, and total years of hearing aid ownership. Higher levels of hearing aid management skills and knowledge were found to be associated with better hearing aid outcomes, specifically higher self-reported satisfaction with hearing aids, perceived benefit from hearing aids, and overall outcome of the hearing aid fitting as evaluated by the International Outcomes Inventory for Hearing Aids.

Conclusions Hearing aid management difficulties were greatest for older people, women, and owners of behind-the-ear style of hearing aids, suggesting that clinicians need to be cognizant of the additional needs for these three groups. The positive association between hearing aid outcomes and hearing aid skills and knowledge emphasizes the importance of education and training on hearing aid management for successful aural rehabilitation.

Acknowledgments
R. Bennett is funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship through The University of Western Australia. The other authors received no funding for this work.
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the hearing clinics from which participants were recruited and the participants for devoting their time to this study. The authors report no declarations of interest. Portions of this article were presented at the ACAud National Congress 2017, Adelaide, SA, August 2017, and at the Audiology Australia Chapter conferences in Perth, Adelaide, and Hobart, November 2017.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access