What Is Important for Hearing Aid Satisfaction? Application of the Expectancy-Disconfirmation Model

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Between 68.1-89.5% of clients report that they are satisfied with their hearing aids. Two variables that are thought to contribute to dissatisfaction with hearing aids are product performance, and a mismatch between performance and client prefitting expectations about hearing-aid performance (i.e., disconfirmation). A focus on variables related to satisfaction is relevant to improving hearing rehabilitation services.


The aim of this study was to determine if measures of hearing-aid performance and disconfirmation, specifically related to hearing ability and hearing-aid problems, were associated with overall hearing-aid satisfaction among a sample of hearing-aid users.

Research Design:

A retrospective research design was employed.

Study Sample:

A total of 123 individuals participated in the study (57% male; mean age: 72 yr). All participants owned hearing aids.

Data Collection and Analysis:

A personal details questionnaire and the Profile of Hearing Aid Consumer Satisfaction questionnaire (Wong et al, 2009) were completed by participants, 3-12 mo after they obtained hearing aids. Overall hearing-aid satisfaction was a dichotomized variable (satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction); therefore, logistic regression modeling was applied to the data to determine which variables were associated with overall hearing-aid satisfaction.


Sixty-one percent of the sample reported that they were satisfied with their hearing aids. Hearing-aid satisfaction was associated with the ability to hear with hearing aids and better-than-expected performance in this same area; fewer hearing-aid problems; and fewer problems with hearing-aid manipulation, hearing-aid appearance, and wearer discomfort than were anticipated before hearing-aid fitting.


It is recommended that to improve hearing-aid satisfaction, clinicians should ensure optimal hearing-aid benefit in the listening situations that the person with hearing impairment most wants to hear better; reduce the likelihood of hearing-aid problems occurring; and promote positive disconfirmation (performance exceeds expectations) with respect to both hearing ability and hearing-aid performance through the education of clients about the likely benefits of hearing aids in a variety of listening environments, and the potential problems they could face with hearing-aid manipulation and wearer discomfort.

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