The acceptable noise level (ANL) test is used for quantification of the amount of background noise subjects accept when listening to speech. This study investigates Danish hearing-aid users' ANL performance using Danish and non-semantic speech signals, the repeatability of ANL, and the association between ANL and outcome of the international outcome inventory for hearing aids (IOI-HA).
ANL was measured in three conditions in both ears at two test sessions. Subjects completed the IOI-HA and the ANL questionnaire.
Sixty-three Danish hearing-aid users; fifty-seven subjects were full time users and 6 were part time/non users of hearing aids according to the ANL questionnaire.
ANLs were similar to results with American English speech material. The coefficient of repeatability (CR) was 6.5-8.8 dB. IOI-HA scores were not associated to ANL.
Danish and non-semantic ANL versions yield results similar to the American English version. The magnitude of the CR indicates that ANL with Danish and non-semantic speech materials is not suitable for prediction of individual patterns of future hearing-aid use or evaluation of individual benefit from hearing-aid features. The ANL with Danish and non-semantic speech materials is not related to IOI-HA outcome.
Rehabilitation of the majority of hearing handicapped in Sweden consists of hearing aid fitting, provision of technical devices and information during about four visits to a Hearing Centre. Generally there is no structured guidance of the hearing handicapped on how to proceed with the hearing aid at home between appointments. A programme of active fitting (AF) of hearing aids, with a task-oriented diary, 'Try Your Hearing Aid' as a basic part, was therefore developed. We conducted a series of studies from 1985 to 1988 with the aim of investigating the benefit and applicability of the programme. A total of 128 new hearing aid candidates participated in three studies at the Sahlgrens hospital and at four other hearing centres in smaller Swedish towns. In a controlled study the AF group was more positive to their hearing aids and to the fitting period after 10 months. They used their hearing aids more frequently and felt psychologically more secure with them. It was established that the AF programme could well be applied in the clinical routine for a majority of new hearing aid patients. Old age per se was not found to be a relevant exclusion criterion. The positive outcome of the AF programme has stimulated the Swedish Institute of the Handicapped to print 'Try Your Hearing Aid' with a manual, and to introduce it to all hearing centres in Sweden.
PURPOSES: We first aimed to describe demographic and audiological characteristics of adults referred to a university hospital for hearing aid (HA) fitting and rehabilitation. Our second aim was to employ an inventory that assesses life consequences of hearing impairment (HI) in terms of perceived activity limitation and participation restriction for the first time in a Norwegian adult outpatient population. A third aim was to study life consequences by audiological and demographic characteristics. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: During one year consecutive patients (n = 343) were requested to answer the Hearing Disability and Handicap Scale (HDHS) assessing activity limitation and participation restriction in relation to an audiological examination and medical consultation. The mean threshold of hearing (MTH) was ascertained by pure tone thresholds at 0.5 - 1 - 2 - 4 kHz in the better ear. RESULTS: Activity limitation and participation restriction were both higher for HA experienced than HA naïve subjects ( p
The study compares the audiological profile of a group of first-time applicants for hearing aids, a group of re-applicants and a group of non-complainers, aged 70-75 years (n = 71). In spite of overlap in range, a significant difference in thresholds and discrimination was found. The lip-reading capacity was well preserved in the elderly, but showed a significant correlation to the general health condition. The audiological benefit of hearing-aids did not increase with early fitting. General satisfaction with life was independent of satisfaction with hearing; two thirds of the patients were satisfied with their aids and used them regularly. The rest were dissatisfied and used them less than once a week. The aids were most systematically used to watch TV. Pure-tone average and handicap scaling were compared as guidelines for hearing-aid fitting. The most powerful tool to identify those in need of hearing-aids was handicap scaling based on interviews concerning self-assessed hearing difficulties.
This investigation was aimed towards an evaluation of the quality of hearing aids, dispensed from a National Hearing Health Service. During a twelve month period all subjects attending the hearing aid servicing section were recorded, and the reason for the visit noted. A total of 4450 people attended (45% males, 55% females) with a median age of 71 years, range 8-99 years. Among these 60.4% of attendances could be ascribed to defective hearing aids. Among the defective hearing aids 20.6% had been used less than one year and 91.4% of the defective aids had been used less than four years, that is within the guarantee period. The recording demonstrated that specific series of aids have a defect rate of 6.6-70.9% within the first year of use. A comparison between the frequency of defects in different types of hearing aids (BTE, ITE, ITC and other hearing aids) was performed indicating that there is a risk of 8.6% that BTE will be defective within one year of provision. As 20.6% of the applicants' defective hearing aids had been used less than one year, it is concluded that the quality of hearing aids should be improved; the hearing aid manufacturers' main categories for fault finding can be used in the audiological departments within the National Hearing Health Service; the recording offers valuable data on the quality of hearing aids, and specifically poor series can be revealed within a limited period.
In this investigation the type of defects in hearing aids (HAs) is described, and the stability of HAs is evaluated, based on prospective longitudinal data over an observation period of 2 years. An exchange of information between the Danish national hearing health service and hearing aid manufacturers, representing the private sector, demonstrates that overall external components to which the HA-user has access, are frequently defective. However, with time, internal components, to which the HA-user has no access, are frequently defective within the first year of use, whereas external components malfunction significantly more frequently after 3 years of use. Among the dispensed hearing aids, 11% were defective at the fitting, indicating insufficient quality control by the manufacturers. A prospective longitudinal investigation of 1141 defective HAs revealed that 12% of behind-the-ear HAs become defective within the first year of use, exhibiting the greatest stability. After 2 years of use, all in-the-canal HAs are defective, while only 33% of the in-the-ear HAs remain intact. It is concluded that the established exchange of information between the public and private sectors offers valid information on the quality of HAs; that the quality and stability of HAs is insufficient; and that the quality should be improved, (based on international criteria).
The present contribution can be considered as an audit of the hearing aid rehabilitation programme as performed in Copenhagen, based on an ongoing quality assurance. A comparative analysis was performed in outcome measures between two 3-month periods in which the only change had been a transfer of the preliminary instruction in manipulation and management of hearing aid (HA) from the educational to the health sector. The data analysis was based on a questionnaire including three samples (sample A, n = 800 evaluated before the change; sample B,n = 779 after the change; and sample C, n = 73 with no change, acting as a reference). The comparison demonstrated no significant differences in the ability to manage or manipulate HA between samples A and B, and no changes were found in the reference sample, C. A significant decrease in the frequency of hearing-impaired subjects needing additional appointments in the health sector was found in sample B. Those subjects who at the HA fitting had made no request for additional educational services demonstrated a significantly higher frequency of 97% capability to manage HA at the follow-up in comparison to only 84% among those who had requested services compatible with the distribution of experienced/unexperienced HA users. The additional data analyses render no support for any effect of the educational services on the ability to manipulate and manage HA.