T.W.W.GO1, E.C. HO1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
The primary clinical intervention for hearing impaired individuals is hearing aids (HA). However, after being fitted with HA, many adults do not wear them regularly or at all. This study aimed to investigate the reasons for HA non-usage among adults and elderly fitted with HA from the audiologists’ perspective.
Prospective cross-sectional study. Anonymized, FormSG survey. 3 domains were investigated; definition of hearing treatment success; clinical practice and hearing care delivery model. 40 local audiologists who practice adult hearing rehabilitation (24 from government hospitals; 16 from private practices) responded to this survey between October 2020 and July 2021.
88% of audiologists agreed that patients should demonstrate high level of self-efficacy in using their HA to be considered as successful treatment. 54% felt at least 21% of their patients could be classified as unsuccessful HA users. 73% reported at least 40% of unsuccessful HA usage could be attributed to poor HA listening in noise. 58% believed that patients with dementia were less likely to be successful first-time HA users. However, 73% of audiologists have observed patients who have been using HA regularly will likely continue to do so, even if their cognition deteriorates further on. Despite that, cognition assessment was not a part of their practices. Overall, 97.5% felt that Singapore has yet to achieve the ideal model of hearing care delivery.
Patient’s HA usage and self-efficacy may be adversely affected by poor cognition. Audiologists should consider incorporation of cognition assessment into audiology practice to improve successful HA usage.