Investigating the Role of Auditory Processing Abilities in Long-Term Self-Reported Hearing Aid Outcomes among Adults Age 60+ Years

Alyssa Davidson, Frank Musiek, Julia M. Fisher, Nicole Marrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Self-reported hearing aid outcomes among older adults are variable and important to improve. The extent of the role of auditory processing in long-term hearing aid outcomes is not well understood. Purpose To determine how auditory processing abilities are related to self-reported hearing aid satisfaction and benefit along with either aided audibility alone or exploratory factors suggested by previous literature. Research Design Descriptive analyses and multiple regression analyses of cross-sectional self-reported outcomes. Study Sample Adult participants, >60 years (n = 78), fitted with bilateral hearing aids to treat symmetric, mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Data Collection and Analysis Participants were recruited from a single audiology clinic to complete a series of questionnaires, behavioral assessments, and obtain data from their hearing aids, including real ear measures and data logging of hearing aid use. Multiple linear regressions were used to determine the amount of variance explained by predictive factors in self-reported hearing aid satisfaction and benefit. The primary predictive factors included gap detection threshold, spatial advantage score, dichotic difference score, and aided audibility. Exploratory factors included personality, self-efficacy, self-report of disability, and hearing aid use. All interpretations of statistical significance used p < 0.05. Effect sizes were determined using Cohen's f 2with a medium effect suggesting clinical relevance. Results Gap detection threshold was a statistically significant predictor in both primary regression models with a medium effect size for satisfaction and a small effect size for benefit. When additional exploratory factors were included in the regression models with auditory processing abilities, gap detection and self-efficacy were both significant predictors of hearing aid satisfaction with medium effect sizes, explaining 10 and 17% of the variance, respectively. There were no medium effect sizes found for other predictor variables in either the primary or exploratory hearing aid benefit models. Additional factors were statistically significant in the models, explaining a small amount of variance, but did not meet the medium effect size criterion. Conclusion This study provides initial evidence supporting the incorporation of measures of gap detection ability and hearing aid self-efficacy into clinical practice for the interpretation of postfitting long-term hearing aid satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-419
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • auditory processing
  • benefit
  • hearing aids
  • satisfaction
  • self-efficacy
  • self-reported outcome measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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