Outcomes with a self-fitting hearing aid

Gitte Keidser*, Elizabeth Convery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)-devices that enable self-directed threshold measurements leading to a prescribed hearing aid (HA) setting, and fine-tuning, without the need for professional support-are now commercially available. This study examined outcomes obtained with one commercial SFHA, the Companion (SoundWorld Solutions), when support was available from a clinical assistant during self-fitting. Participants consisted of 27 experienced and 25 new HA users who completed the self-fitting process, resulting in 38 user-driven and 14 clinician-driven fittings. Following 12 weeks' experience with the SFHAs in the field, outcomes measured included the following: coupler gain and output, HA handling and management skills, speech recognition in noise, and self-reported benefit and satisfaction. In addition, the conventionally fitted HAs of 22 of the experienced participants who had user-driven fittings were evaluated. Irrespective of HA experience, the type of fitting (user-or clinician-driven) had no significant effect on coupler gain, speech recognition scores, or self-reported benefit and satisfaction. Users selected significantly higher low-frequency gain in the SFHAs when compared with the conventionally fitted HAs. The conventionally fitted HAs were rated significantly higher for benefit and satisfaction on some subscales due to negative issues with the physical design and implementation of the SFHAs, rather than who drove the fitting process. Poorer cognitive function was associated with poorer handling and management of the SFHAs. Findings suggest that with the right design and support, SFHAs may be a viable option to improve the accessibility of hearing health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Hearing
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • persons with hearing impairments
  • hearing aids
  • patient outcome assessment
  • speech perception
  • health benefit
  • patient satisfaction
  • mobile applications
  • hearing health care

Cite this