Self-perceived and Audiometric Evaluations of Hearing Aid Benefit in the Elderly

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This study was designed to monitor benefit received from the use of amplification by 58 elderly new hearing users. The longitudinal study assessed changes in self-perceived handicap and audiometric measures by analyzing data at prefitting and at 3wk, 3-mo, 6m0, and l-yr postfitting intervals. Measurement tools included the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly [HHIE], functional gain [500 through 4000 Hz), and speech recognition measures in quiet and in noise. Results indicated a significant decrease in perceived handicap after 3 wk of hearing aid use. After 3 mo, perceived handicap increased significantly before leveling off at 6 mo and 1 yr. Audiometric measures remained constant throughout the period under investigation. Benefit as defined using functional gain data was unrelated to benefit as defined using self-report data.

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