A self-fitting hearing aid is a personal amplification device that is designed to be assembled, programmed, and fine-tuned by the user, without the need for additional equipment or professional support. A written description of the device was presented to 80 older adults with a hearing impairment, all of whom were residents of an urban area in a developed country. In response to a structured questionnaire, the majority of participants reported that the self-fitting hearing aid concept was a good idea (83%), would be of personal benefit (60%), and could be managed independently by the user (90%). Overall, half of the participant group agreed with all three statements. Two were uncertain about the concept, but none of the participants rejected it outright. There were no significant differences between the opinions of participants with previous hearing aid experience and those without. Participant responses to open-ended questions revealed that the main benefits of a self-fitting hearing aid were thought to be the ability to self-adjust the device's settings (reported by 33% of participants) and increased convenience (20% of participants). The main drawback, mentioned by 25% of participants, was a preference for professional guidance through the fitting process. These results suggest that the self-fitting hearing aid may present as an alternative product in developed countries for those users who prefer to be in control of the fitting process.
- hearing aids