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December 1978

Factors Influencing Use of Hearing Aids

Author Affiliations

From the Army Audiology and Speech Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Dr Schuchman is now with the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department, Lin Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1978;104(12):732-736. doi:10.1001/archotol.1978.00790120058010

• A follow-up questionnaire was mailed to new hearing aid users. The questionnaire responses of 430 persons, 73% of the sample, were related to age, audiometric, and hearing aid evaluation data obtained at the time of fitting. Reported usage of the aids was also analyzed in terms of the type of fitting and according to length of postfitting training. Further, the reasons for limited or nonuse were tabulated. The population in the present study, in comparison with that of previous investigations, was characterized by relatively young age and predominantly noise-induced, sensorineural type hearing loss, with mild hearing loss for speech; these factors led to a high proportion of selective amplification fittings. Reported overall use did not differ among the types of aids. Overall use declined with increasing age, and the majority of persons in this population used their aids selectively rather than on a full-time basis. Length of postfitting training appeared to increase hearing aid use. Mean audiometric and hearing aid evaluation data remained relatively constant across four usage categories: "always," "often," "occasionally," and "never." Excessive background noise and lack of need constituted 63% of the reasons given for limited use or nonuse.

(Arch Otolaryngol 104:732-736, 1978)

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