Hearing Aid Uptake, Benefit, and Use: The Impact of Hearing, Cognition, and Personal Factors

February 7, 2021

Authors: Grace Nixon, Julia Sarant, Dani Tomlin, Richard Dowell

Journal: Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research

DOI: 10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00014

Year Published: 2021


The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of hearing, cognition, and personal factors on hearing aid (HA) uptake, use, and benefit.


Eighty-five older adults aged 60-80 years (M = 70.23, SD = 5.17) participated in the study. Hearing was assessed using pure-tone audiometry and the Listening in Spatialised Noise-Sentences test. Cognition was measured using the Cogstate Brief Battery and the Cogstate Groton Maze Learning task. Personal demographics were recorded from participants’ answers on a series of take-home questionnaires. HA benefit and use was subjectively reported at 3 and 6 months post HA fitting for those who chose to use HAs.


Stepwise-regression and mixed-effects models indicated that stronger psychomotor function predicted greater reported use of HAs at 3 and 6 months post HA fitting. Greater family interaction scores also predicted greater HA use at 3 months after fitting. Participants who chose to be fitted with HAs had significantly poorer self-reported health and poorer audiometric thresholds. Poorer hearing was also significantly related with greater reported HA benefit.


A combination of cognitive, psychosocial factors and hearing impacted HA outcomes for the older Australians in this study. Self-reported HA use was significantly greater in participants with better psychomotor function. Furthermore, those with poorer self-reported health were more likely to choose to use HAs. These factors should be considered in audiological rehabilitation to best maximize patient HA outcomes.

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