Nov 2019 ASHA Wire
The aim of the study was to evaluate the application of a modified version of the Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disabilities and Handicap to inventory self-reported hearing difficulties pre and post hearing aid fitting in 6 dimensions: detection, speech in silence, speech in noise, localisation, discrimination, and noise tolerance. Questionnaires pre and post hearing aid fitting were collected during regular practice of hearing aid provision. Data of 740 subjects are presented; 337 already used hearing aids, and 403 were new users.
The questionnaire results in an individual profile of hearing abilities over six dimensions of auditory functioning covering the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health hearing functions. The questionnaire appeared to be sensitive for the effect of hearing aid fitting on perceived auditory disabilities in all six dimensions. The data obtained can serve as reference scores that allow to interpret individual scores against the background of a large population of hearing aid users. Even if experienced users fill in the pre questionnaire for the aided situations, new hearing aids improve auditory functioning, although for most dimensions to a lesser degree than for first users. The questionnaire is recommended for use as a systematic evaluation of hearing aid selection and fitting in clinical practice. The current article provides reference data supporting the interpretation of individual results and discusses several issues to consider in the interpretation of questionnaire change scores in clinical practice, such as the possible influence of missing data and ceiling effects.