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Neuroscience - Non-Clinical Medicine - Otolaryngology

A Systematic Review of Studies Measuring and Reporting Hearing Aid Usage in Older Adults since 1999: A Descriptive Summary of Measurement Tools
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Author: Elvira Perez et al.

by Elvira Perez, Barrie A. Edmonds


A systematic review was conducted to identify and quality assess how studies published since 1999 have measured and reported the usage of hearing aids in older adults. The relationship between usage and other dimensions of hearing aid outcome, age and hearing loss are summarised.

Data sources

Articles were identified through systematic searches in PubMed/MEDLINE, The University of Nottingham Online Catalogue, Web of Science and through reference checking. Study eligibility criteria: (1) participants aged fifty years or over with sensori-neural hearing loss, (2) provision of an air conduction hearing aid, (3) inclusion of hearing aid usage measure(s) and (4) published between 1999 and 2011.


Of the initial 1933 papers obtained from the searches, a total of 64 were found eligible for review and were quality assessed on six dimensions: study design, choice of outcome instruments, level of reporting (usage, age, and audiometry) and cross validation of usage measures. Five papers were rated as being of high quality (scoring 10–12), 35 papers were rated as being of moderate quality (scoring 7–9), 22 as low quality (scoring 4–6) and two as very low quality (scoring 0–2). Fifteen different methods were identified for assessing the usage of hearing aids.


Generally, the usage data reviewed was not well specified. There was a lack of consistency and robustness in the way that usage of hearing aids was assessed and categorised. There is a need for more standardised level of reporting of hearing aid usage data to further understand the relationship between usage and hearing aid outcomes.