Factors Affecting Successful Adoption of Connectivity Devices by Hearing Aid Users Public Deposited

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  • February 22, 2019
  • Thakkar, Anish
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • McKenna, Nancy
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Frey, Megan
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Purpose or Research Questions * To investigate factors that affect the choice to purchase the HACD and the successful adoption of the device. * To evaluate patients’ views regarding use, benefit, and satisfaction with connectivity devices. Background Hearing aid connectivity devices - referred to as HACDs in this poster - are widely marketed to both consumers and professionals in the field of Audiology as devices that can be used to improve communication. However, studies have shown that sales and acceptance of assistive devices is variable (Cranmer, 1991). Becoming informed about device capabilities, and properly learning - and retaining - such information can be difficult for older adults (Hartley, 2010). While major manufacturers advertise multiple capabilities for such devices, there is limited literature regarding patients’ perceived benefit of the devices, and whether patients’ needs are met (Lesner, 2003). Methods/Proposed Methods Adult patients who had purchased a connectivity device within the past 5 years (from 5 major manufacturers), excluding patients with known cognitive impairment. All participants had followed the UNC Hearing and Communication Center (UNC-HCC) fitting protocol for HACDs. Subjects were contacted via telephone or in person in conjunction with a previously scheduled appointment. Once the subjects had given consent to participate, they verbally answered survey questions related to the HACDs. Surveys were completed by 30 (15 male, 15 female) out of 95 possible participants. The study was approved by the UNC Office of Human Research Ethics and was not funded. Results/Anticipated Results * No age effect was found in the study cohort: some older users use the device as frequently as younger users. * Outside recommendations for the device and personal research may be indicators of HACD success. * Subjects who reported using their HACDs 7 out of the last 7 days were more likely to use their device in a variety of ways compared to subjects who reported less than 7 days/week use. * Common complaints/reasons for limited use included: not liking the HACD design, poor quality of connectivity, and lack of benefit. * Overall, subjects, even those who use HACDs daily, were critical of aspects of their devices. Discussion (e.g., interpretation of results; potential contribution of anticipated results) * Additional scheduled support after the initial fitting may be essential for some users. * Identification of possible predictors of successful use of HACDs such as: personal research before device purchase, spousal support, comfort with technology, may improve fitting success. * The rise of tech savvy older adults, and increase in direct Bluetooth capability, may alter HACD fitting in the near future.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Department of Allied Health Sciences. Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Student Research Day (9th: 2017: Chapel Hill, NC)

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