Individual hearing aid benefit: Ecological momentary assessment of hearing abilities
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.
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