OBJECTIVE : To explore the prevalence of device-related problems associated with hearing aid use, participants’ help-seeking behaviours for these problems, and factors associated with hearing aid problems.
DESIGN : A prospective convenience cohort design surveying 413 adult hearing aid users (34–97 years of age) recruited from seven clinics across Australia.
RESULTS : Almost all participants (98%) indicated that they were experiencing at least one of the hearing aid problems included on the survey. The number of hearing aid related problems reported by participants ranged from 0 to 25 (of a possible 26), with a mean of 10 problems (SD = 5). The three most reported problems were related to difficulty hearing in noisy environments, hearing in windy environments, and understanding certain voices. Participants had reported less than half (46.33%) of the total problems identified to their clinic (range = 0–100%, mean = 43.40, SD = 13.92). Participants who reported experiencing a greater number of hearing aid problems also reported lower levels of hearing aid benefit, and satisfaction with their hearing aids.
CONCLUSIONS : The majority of hearing aid owners experience problems with their hearing aids. Addressing these problems would likely contribute to improved hearing aid outcomes.
Portions of this article were presented at the ACAud National Congress 2017, Adelaide, SA, August 2017, at the Audiology Australia Chapter conferences in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart, November 2017, at the HAASA National Conference, Sydney NSW, May 2018, and at the Audiology Australia National Congress, Sydney NSW, May 2018.