DescriptionIndependent research supporting the choice of hearing aid technology level is lacking. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to explore reported outcomes for older adults with presbycusis using premium-feature and basic-feature hearing aids. Secondly, we investigated if differences in gain prescription measured with real-ear measurements explain differences in self-reported outcomes. The study was designed as a randomized controlled trial in which 190 first-time hearing aid users (≥60 years) with symmetric bilateral presbycusis were allocated to either a premium-feature or basic-feature hearing aid. The randomization was stratified on age, sex, and word recognition score. The outcomes were designed to assess their perceived hearing abilities and the effectiveness of hearing aids. Two types of self-reported questionnaires were used: the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (IOI-HA) and the short form of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ-12) questionnaire. In addition, insertion gain at first-fit were measured for all fitted hearing aids. Premium-feature hearing aid users reported 0.7 (95% CI: 0.2-1.1) scale points higher overall SSQ-12 score per item compared to basic-feature hearing aid users. Differences in the prescribed gain at 1 and 2 kHz were observed between premium and basic hearing aids within each company but did not explain the differences in reported outcomes. No statistically significant difference in reported hearing aid effectiveness between the two levels of technology was found. Overall, this study found evidence that premium-feature devices yielded better self-reported outcomes than basic-feature devices.
|Period||26. Aug 2021|
|Event title||International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research: The Auditory System Throughout Life - Models, Mechanisms, and Interventions|
|Degree of Recognition||International|