Convery, E. et al. (2017) Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 28(2) pp. 109-118
Background: Hearing aids and personal sound amplification products that are designed to be self-fitted by the user at home are becoming increasingly available in the online marketplace. While these devices are often marketed as a low-cost alternative to traditional hearing health-care, little is known about people’s ability to successfully use and manage them. Previous research into the individual components of a simulated self-fitting procedure has been undertaken, but no study has evaluated performance of the procedure as a whole using a commercial product.
Purpose: To evaluate the ability of a group of adults with a hearing loss to set up a pair of commercially available self-fitting hearing aids for their own use and to investigate factors associated with a successful outcome.
Conclusions: Although the majority of participants were able to complete the self-fitting task without error, the provision of knowledgeable support by trained personnel, rather than a fellow layperson, would most certainly increase the proportion of users who are able to achieve success. Refinements to the instructions and the physical design of the hearing aid may also serve to improve the success rate. Further evaluation of the range of self-fitting hearing aids that are now on the market should be undertaken.
Read the full abstract here