Assessing daily-life benefit from hearing aid noise management: SSQ12 vs. ecological momentary assessment
In audiological research, assessing daily-life benefit from hearing aid (HA) noise management (NM) is a challenge. While ecological momentary assessment (EMA) using smartphone-connected HAs has recently emerged as a promising tool for real-life data acquisition, there is a lack of research linking this method to established ones such as the SSQ12 questionnaire. In the current study, 12 hearing-impaired participants were asked to assess two HA fittings using a well-known questionnaire and a smartphone-based EMA method combining soundscape logging with momentary self-reports. The two HA fittings differed in terms of their NM settings (no NM vs. cardioid microphones and noise reduction activated). The participants were aged 23- 75 years and had different occupations and lifestyles. The testing period for each fitting was 2 weeks. Overall, the EMA and SSQ12 scores were higher for the setting with NM activated, but this difference was only statistically significant in case of the SSQ12. The soundscape data showed that only few participants experienced noisy surroundings frequently. Future work on EMA-based HA assessment should therefore address the interplay between the tested HA features and the auditory ecology of the participants.
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