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Vol. 17, No. 3, 2012
Issue release date: April 2012
Section title: Original Paper
Audiol Neurotol 2012;17:139–147
(DOI:10.1159/000333777)

Improvement in Word Recognition Score with Level Is Associated with Hearing Aid Ownership among Patients with Hearing Loss

Halpin C. · Rauch S.D.
Departments of aAudiology and bOtolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and cDepartment of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 5/10/2011 9:31:05 AM
Accepted: 9/15/2011
Published online: 11/19/2011

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1420-3030 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9700 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/AUD

Abstract

Market surveys consistently show that only 22% of those with hearing loss own hearing aids. This is often ascribed to cosmetics, but is it possible that patients apply a different auditory criterion than do audiologists and manufacturers? We tabulated hearing aid ownership in a survey of 1000 consecutive patients. We separated hearing loss cases, with one cohort in which word recognition in quiet could improve with gain (vs. 40 dB HL) and another without such improvement but nonetheless with audiometric thresholds within the manufacturer’s fitting ranges. Overall, we found that exactly 22% of hearing loss patients in this sample owned hearing aids; the same finding has been reported in many previous, well-accepted surveys. However, while all patients in the two cohorts experienced difficulty in noise, patients in the cohort without word recognition improvement were found to own hearing aids at a rate of 0.3%, while those patients whose word recognition could increase with level were found to own hearing aids at a rate of 50%. Results also coherently fit a logistic model where shift of the word recognition performance curve by level corresponded to the likelihood of ownership. In addition to the common attribution of low hearing aid usage to patient denial, cosmetic issues, price, or social stigma, these results provide one alternative explanation based on measurable improvement in word recognition performance.


  

Author Contacts

Chris Halpin, PhD
Department of Audiology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114 (USA)
Tel. +1 617 573 3266, E-Mail chris_halpin@meei.harvard.edu

  

Article Information

Received: May 10, 2011
Accepted after revision: September 15, 2011
Published online: November 19, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 11

  

Publication Details

Audiology and Neurotology (The Science of Hearing and Balance)

Vol. 17, No. 3, Year 2012 (Cover Date: April 2012)

Journal Editor: Harris J.P. (San Diego, Calif.)
ISSN: 1420-3030 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9700 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/AUD


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 5/10/2011 9:31:05 AM
Accepted: 9/15/2011
Published online: 11/19/2011

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1420-3030 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9700 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/AUD


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