Factors Affecting Hearing Aid Adoption by Adults With High-Frequency Hearing Loss: The Beaver Dam Offspring Study.

Cruickshanks Lab // Publications // Nov 03 2021

PubMed ID: 34731581

Author(s): Weycker JM, Dillard LK, Pinto A, Fischer ME, Cruickshanks KJ, Tweed TS. Factors Affecting Hearing Aid Adoption by Adults With High-Frequency Hearing Loss: The Beaver Dam Offspring Study. Am J Audiol. 2021 Nov 3:1-9. doi: 10.1044/2021_AJA-21-00050. [Epub ahead of print] PMID 34731581

Journal: American Journal Of Audiology, Nov 2021

Purpose Hearing loss (HL) is common among middle-age and older adults, but hearing aid adoption is low. The purpose of this study was to measure the 10-year incidence of hearing aid adoption in a sample of primarily middle-age adults with high-frequency HL and identify factors associated with hearing aid adoption. Method This study included 579 adults (ages 34-80 years) with high-frequency pure-tone average > 25 dB HL (3-8 kHz) enrolled in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study. Hearing aid adoption was measured at 5- and 10-year follow-up examinations. Cox discrete-time proportional hazards models were used to evaluate factors associated with hearing aid adoption (presented as hazards ratios [HRs] and 95% confidence intervals [95% CI]). Results The 10-year cumulative incidence of hearing aid adoption was 14 per 1,000 person years. Factors significantly associated with adoption in a multivariable model were higher education (vs. 16+ years; 0-12: HR: 0.36, 95% CI [0.19, 0.69]; 13-15: HR: 0.52, 95% CI [0.27, 0.98]), worse high-frequency pure-tone average (per +1 dB; HR: 1.04, 95% CI [1.02, 1.06]), self-reported hearing handicap (screening versions of the Hearing Handicap Inventory score > 8; HR: 1.85, 95% CI [1.02, 3.38]), answering yes to “Do friends and relatives think you have a hearing problem?” (HR: 3.18, 95% CI [1.60, 6.33]) and using closed captions (HR: 2.86, 95% CI [1.08, 7.57]). Effects of age and sex were not significant. Conclusions Hearing aid adoption rates were low. Hearing sensitivity, socioeconomic status, and measures of the impact of HL on daily life were associated with adoption. Provider awareness of associated factors can contribute to timely and appropriate intervention.