Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Karen A. Doherty
hearing aid counseling, hearing aid fitting, hearing aid handling, hearing aids, hearing impaired, PHAST-R
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Purpose: Approximately 30% of hearing aid owners do not wear their hearing aids. One of the main reasons reported for hearing aid non-use is that hearing aid owners cannot successfully use and/or care for their hearing aids (Lupsakko, Kautiainen, & Sulkava 2005; Popelka et al. 1998; Vuorialho, Karinen, & Sorri 2006). The primary purpose of the present study was to evaluate the benefit of identifying specific hearing aid use and care skills that a hearing aid user cannot perform or has difficulty performing and providing re-instruction on those specific skills. This is operationally defined in the present study as targeted re-instruction. A second purpose was to determine if adding targeted re-instruction to a hearing aid fitting would result in greater hearing aid satisfaction and more hours of daily hearing aid use. Last, factors that may influence an individual’s learning and remembering of hearing aid use and care skills were also assessed.
Method: Twenty-six participants (13 experimental; 13 control) were included in this randomized control trial. All participants were new hearing aid users who had never worn or tried hearing aids before. Participants were fit with ReSound Linx 3D 962 RIC-style hearing aids for a four-week trial period and provided a standard hearing aid orientation. Participants assigned to the experimental group were also administered the Practical Hearing Aid Skills Test – Revised (PHAST-R; Desjardins & Doherty 2009; Doherty & Desjardins 2012) and provided targeted re-instruction. Hearing aid use and care skills were measured using the Hearing Aid Skills and Knowledge (HASK; Saunders et al. 2018) test immediately following the hearing aid fitting and then again at four weeks post-hearing aid fitting. The relationship between hearing aid use and care skills and measures of hearing handicap, hearing aid-related attitudes, and working memory were assessed. In addition, hearing aid satisfaction was measured at two and four weeks post-hearing aid fitting. Data logging was used to determine average daily hours of hearing aid use.
Results: Participants in the experimental group maintained their hearing aid use and care skills over the four week hearing aid trial, but participants in the control group showed a significant decline in their hearing aid use and care skills over the same time period. None of the factors assessed in the present study were significantly correlated to learning and remembering of hearing aid use and care skills. Also, no significant difference in average daily hours of hearing aid use was observed between the two groups of participants. Level of satisfaction was significantly different between the two groups at two weeks post-hearing aid fitting, but not at the end of the four week trial period. Last, it took an average of 9 minutes and 15 seconds (SD = 3 minutes and 13 seconds) to administer the PHAST-R app and provide targeted re-instruction.
Conclusions: Targeted re-instruction prevented a decline in hearing aid use and care skills after four weeks of hearing aid use. Participants who did not receive targeted re-instruction showed a decline in their hearing aid use and care skills after only four weeks of hearing aid use. This indicates that targeted re-instruction can help new hearing aid users maintain their hearing aid use and care skills over time. It took an average of less than 10 minutes to administer the PHAST-R app and provide targeted re-instruction.
Alicea, Carly Catherine, "Targeted Re-Instruction for Hearing Aid Use and Care Skills" (2018). Dissertations - ALL. 951.