Hearing aid compliance in the elderly
J. Salonen , R. Johansson , S. Karjalainen , T. Vahlberg , J.-P. Jero and R. Isoaho 4,5
1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Turku University Hospital, Finland; 2Department of Biostatistics, University of Turku, Finland; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland; 4Institute of Clinical Medicine, General Practice, University of Turku, Finland; Malax-Korsnäs Health Center, Malax, Finland
Hearing aid; compliance; elderly; questionnaire
23 - 28
Hearing aid compliance in the elderly. Objectives : A decreasing but still substantial proportion of elderly persons with hearing aids use them only occasionally. Because the prevalence of age-related hearing loss is increasing, it is important for the hearing rehabilitation process to be effective. The aim of this study was to use a mailed questionnaire to evaluate the rate of hearing aid use and the reasons for minimal use or nonuse. Methods: Questions about hearing aid use and associated problems were included in a survey of hearing mailed to 4,067 people in age cohorts of 70, 75, 80 and 85 years in an industrialized urban community in Finland. Results: In this sample of 249 hearing aid users, 55.4% used their hearing aid daily, and 27.3% used it > 6 hours a day. The percentage of subjects who never used their hearing aid was 10.7%. Use of hearing aids tended to decline with ad- vancing age. The most common reasons for minimal use were disturbing background noise, acoustic feedback problems, battery cost, and a lack of motivation to use the hearing aid. Conclusions: Compliance with hearing aid use by the elderly is increasing, but a significant proportion of hearing aids are still used only occasionally or never. We discuss methods to improve compliance in this patient group. Our results may be used to reexamine existing procedures for fitting hearing aids for counseling, which may increase patient compliance with hearing aids, leading to greater benefits from their use.
Vol. 9, 2013, 1st trimester

Hearing aid compliance in the elderly