Patient Satisfaction with the Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid: A 14-Year Experience

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Abstract

Objectives:

To evaluate the self-rated quality of life (QoL) and benefits associated with the use of bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHAs) and to identify potential improvements in comparison to the previous conventional hearing aids.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

BAHA program in tertiary referral center.

Patients:

One hundred fifty-two adults who underwent BAHA procedure for more than 6 months.

Intervention:

Rehabilitative.

Main Outcome Measure:

Results of the Entific Medical Systems questionnaire.

Results:

One hundred seventeen responses (77%) were obtained. Overall satisfaction was excellent (median = 9). BAHA was rated very good/excellent in single-person conversation (85%), but fared less well in group situation (45%). BAHA was reported as better than the previous aid by more than 50% of patients within each subcategory where applicable (handling, 64%; comfort, 56%; cosmetic, 60%; sound, 68%; infections, 75%). Of those who reported improvement of ear infections, one quarter remained unsatisfied of improvement in QoL. Patients who used BAHA for 3 years or less (n = 45) had a similar rating to sound quality and conversation as those who used it longer (n = 72). Surprisingly, a subset of patients (n = 8) with poor bone-conduction thresholds (>45 dB) remained satisfied with the device (median = 8).

Conclusions:

The BAHA can improve QoL and hearing outcome with full acclimatization to the device being achievable within a reasonable amount of time. As with conventional aids, sound quality in group situations remains poor with the BAHA. Our results provide a predictive value during preoperative counseling of patients.

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