Changes in Hearing-Aid Benefit Following 1 or 2 Years of Hearing-Aid Use by Older Adults This study reports the results of a large number of hearing-aid benefit measures obtained from 134 elderly hearing-aid wearers during the first year of hearing-aid usage. Benefit measures were obtained after 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year of hearing-aid use by all participants. In addition, follow-up measurements of hearing-aid ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2002
Changes in Hearing-Aid Benefit Following 1 or 2 Years of Hearing-Aid Use by Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Larry E. Humes, PhD
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences Indiana University Bloomington
  • Dana L. Wilson
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences Indiana University Bloomington
  • Nancy N. Barlow
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences Indiana University Bloomington
  • Carolyn Garner
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences Indiana University Bloomington
  • Contact author: Larry E. Humes, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. E-mail: humes@indiana.edu
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2002
Changes in Hearing-Aid Benefit Following 1 or 2 Years of Hearing-Aid Use by Older Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2002, Vol. 45, 772-782. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/062)
History: Received June 6, 2001 , Accepted January 22, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2002, Vol. 45, 772-782. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/062)
History: Received June 6, 2001; Accepted January 22, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46

This study reports the results of a large number of hearing-aid benefit measures obtained from 134 elderly hearing-aid wearers during the first year of hearing-aid usage. Benefit measures were obtained after 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year of hearing-aid use by all participants. In addition, follow-up measurements of hearing-aid benefit were performed on 49 of these same hearing-aid wearers following 2 years of hearing-aid use. All participants in this study were fit binaurally with identical full-concha in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids that used linear Class-D amplifiers with output-limiting compression. Benefit measures included several objective tests of speech recognition, as well as the subjective self-report scales of the Hearing Aid Performance Inventory (HAPI; B. E. Walden, M. E. Demorest, & E. L. Hepler) and the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE; I. Ventry & B. Weinstein, 1982). Although group means changed only slightly over time for all of the benefit measures, significant differences were observed for some of the benefit measures, especially among the subjective, self-report measures of benefit. In almost all of the cases exhibiting significant changes, performance was significantly worse (less benefit) at both the 6-month and 1-year post-fit interval compared to the measurements at 1 month post-fit. In general, the individual data from the 134 participants who were represented in the 1-year data set were consistent with the trends in the group data described above. Regarding longer term changes in benefit following 2 years of hearing-aid use, minimal changes were again observed. In all, there was little evidence for acclimatization of hearing-aid benefit in this study in either the group or the individual data.

Acknowledgment
The authors would like to thank Stacey Yount, Martha Bashaw, Sneha Patel, Mini Narendran, Brian Gygi, Melissa Coy-Branam, Andy Humes, and Kevin Caudill for their assistance with data entry and analysis. This research was supported in part by research grant R01-AG08293 from the National Institute on Aging.
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