gms | German Medical Science

23. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Audiologie

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Audiologie e. V.

03.09. - 04.09.2020, Köln (Online-Konferenz)

What helps or hinders hearing aid wearers to change hearing aid programs?

Meeting Abstract

  • presenting/speaker Jana Welling - WS Audiology, Erlangen, Deutschland
  • Ann-Elisabeth Krug - Akademie für Hörakustik, Lübeck, Deutschland
  • Rosa-Linde Fischer - WS Audiology, Erlangen, Deutschland
  • Nadja Schinkel-Bielefeld - WS Audiology, Erlangen, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Audiologie e.V.. 23. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Audiologie. Köln, 03.-04.09.2020. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2020. Doc182

doi: 10.3205/20dga182, urn:nbn:de:0183-20dga1824

Veröffentlicht: 3. September 2020

© 2020 Welling et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Typically hearing aids have an automatic program that adjusts sound processing to the changing environment. For specific situations or individual demands of the hearing impaired, the hearing care professional can add extra programs. However, many hearing aid wearers have only a single program configured or even if they have several programs, they solely use one.

We wanted to analyze to what extent subjects are willing to change programs and what might be obstacles in the usage of them. To do so, we performed a study with 10 hearing impaired subjects (mean age 71 years, PTA4 = 42dBHL). They were bilaterally fitted with Signia Pure 13 7Nx M hearing aids with 6 predefined programs for a period of three weeks. They used an Ecological Momentary Assessment app to fill out a questionnaire whenever they changed programs. In addition, we collected objective information about the acoustic situation from the hearing aid. To prevent an overrepresentation of the automatic program, which usually is default after restart, the devices started with the last used one and once a day the app changed to a random hearing program.

On average subjects switched programs 0.8 to 6.2 times per day. In the entry interview, four subjects reported not using or not having additional programs within their personal devices. While three of them belong to the subjects with the least changes, one switched programs frequently in our study. Asked for the reasons for switching to another program, the most reported cause was the experience that a special program would help them better. The two subjects with the highest number of program changes reported that they like to try out other programs whenever they are dissatisfied.

At the end of each day we asked subjects to think back if there were any situations where they did not switch the program even though it may had been beneficial. On average this was the case on 15.1% of all days, though one subject encountered such situations on 68.4% of all days. The most frequent reasons for this were fast changing hearing situations and an uncertainty which program could help. If in doubt which program to choose, the automatic program which makes this decision for the user might be the best choice. In fact, this was the most used program and subjects never reported that the automatic program deteriorated listening experience.

While subjects reported that the main reason for a program switch was a change in the situation, it was difficult to tie this to the objective data about the acoustic situation. Reasons for this could be differences in the perception of the situation by human beings and hearing aid classifiers. Also, it may underline the importance of user intent, which is not apparent from the acoustic situation alone. Despite this, a suitable program for each situation could be found on most days (88,5%).

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