Individual hearing aid benefit: Ecological momentary assessment of hearing abilities

  • Petra von Gablenz Institute of Hearing Technology and Audiology, Jade University of Applied Sciences, D-26121 Oldenburg, Germany; Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Oldenburg, Germany
  • Ulrik Kowalk Institute of Hearing Technology and Audiology, Jade University of Applied Sciences, D-26121 Oldenburg, Germany; Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Oldenburg, Germany
  • Jörg Bitzer Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, D-26129 Oldenburg, Germany; Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Oldenburg, Germany
  • Markus Meis Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, D-26129 Oldenburg, Germany; Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Oldenburg, Germany
  • Inga Holube Institute of Hearing Technology and Audiology, Jade University of Applied Sciences, D-26121 Oldenburg, Germany; Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Oldenburg, Germany
Keywords: hearing aid benefit, hearing rehabilitation, ecological validity, self-assessed hearing abilities, listening effort, real-world data

Abstract

Questionnaires are often used to address the subjective perspective on hearing abilities in the course of hearing aid (HA) fitting. Weaknesses of this approach are, e.g., memory bias and possible mismatch of the pre-defined and individually experienced listening situations. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) including in-situ surveys in real-life, could tackle these issues. We conducted an EMA study to examine how HA uptake changes the perception of everyday hearing abilities. In collaboration with local hearing aid acousticians, 16 first-time and follow-up HA wearers were recruited. They used the smartphone-based EMA system olMEGA for 3-4 full days before HA fitting and after HA acclimatization. This system allows for specifying situations and sound sources as well as for assessing hearing related dimensions like speech understanding and listening effort. Nine hundred thirty-three surveys out of a total of 1705 surveys related to speech listening events. Results showed a considerable individual variability regarding the type of reported events, the distribution and position of assessments. Overall, speech understanding improved by 1.1 scores and listening effort decreased by 1.3 scores on 7-point scales in post-intervention EMA compared to pre- intervention EMA.

References

Galvez, G., Turbin, M.B., Thielman, E.J., Istvan, J.A., Andrews, J.A., and Henry, J.A. (2012). “Feasibility of ecological momentary assessment of hearing difficulties encountered by hearing aid users,” Ear Hearing, 33, 497-507. doi:10.1097/AUD.0b013e3182498c41.

Holube, I., von Gablenz, P., and Bitzer, J. (under review) “Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in audiology – current state, challenges, and future directions.” Submitted to Ear Hearing (special issue).

Kowalk, U., Kissner, S., von Gablenz, P., and Holube, I. (2018). “An improved privacy-aware system for objective and subjective ecological momentary assessment,” Proc. ISAAR, 6, 25-30B. Retrieved from https://proceedings.isaar.eu/index.php/isaarproc/article/view/2017-04

Timmer, B., Hickson, L., and Launer, S. (2018). “Do hearing aids address real-world hearing difficulties for adults with mild hearing impairment? Results from a pilot study using Ecological Momentary Assessment,” Trends Hear., 22. doi: 10.1177/2331216518783608.

Published
2020-04-08
How to Cite
von Gablenz, P., Kowalk, U., Bitzer, J., Meis, M., & Holube, I. (2020). Individual hearing aid benefit: Ecological momentary assessment of hearing abilities. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research, 7, 213-220. Retrieved from https://proceedings.isaar.eu/index.php/isaarproc/article/view/2019-26
Section
2019/4. Novel directions in hearing-instrument technology