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Ugeskr Laeger. 2008 Oct 20;170(43):3407-11.

[Use of hearing aids five years after issue].

[Article in Danish]

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Høreklinikken, Vejle Sygehus, DK-7100 Vejle.



With an annual issue of 100,000 hearing aids in Denmark it is of interest to quantify their use and non-use.


Adult reapplicants (n = 1003) with five-year-old hearing aids (median) were interviewed about their hearing aid use, and those possessing unused aids (n = 182) were contacted a year later with a postal questionnaire. The data were compared with 683 returned International Outcome Inventory - Hearing Aid (IOI-HA) questionnaires from a national quality control project conducted in the same period which had been mailed to 1125 of our patients from a central site.


Of the 1003 hearing-aid users, 83% wore an aid for at least 3-4 hours daily while 13% never wore any. In the IOI-HA-survey, non-use was reported by only 2%. Among the 182 who were contacted a year later, the proportion of users tripled to 67%. Non-use was predominantly (70%) due to unpleasant sound quality, lack of benefit, or a poorly fitting ear mould/shell. Hearing aid usage increased with increasing hearing loss and with the patients' level of experience. Conversely, non-use seemed to increase with the length of the observation period.


Although only 13% had stopped using their aids after five years, this represents a considerable loss which can be reduced through active follow up. The reported that the 2% non-use rate in the IOI-HA-clientele can be ascribed to the fact that the survey took place only 2-3 months post issue, but it may also reflect a non-response bias.

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