Hearing loss attracts large interest among researchers all over the world due to its prevalence and negative psychological side-effects. Usually hearing loss is managed with hearing aids. However, there are several additional technologies that can be of great help for hearing impaired people such as assistive listening devices or interpreting. Several studies suggest that hearing aids are often underused. This study aimed to provide a large overview of regularity and types of hearing technology use in Denmark among adults and children. Information was gathered using two nationwide surveys distributed among parents of 269 children and 839 adults with hearing loss. Information concerned demographic characteristics, characteristics of hearing technologies including hearing aids (HA), cochlear implants (CI) and interpretation. Several factors were researched such as gender, age, additional disability and education. Most of these factors have significant influence on technology and service use. For example, results showed that gender has no effect on usage of technologies, except females used alarm systems and text interpretation more frequently. However, in children, girls tried to hide HA/CI much more often than boys. Younger adults more rarely used HA/CI than older adults. People with more severe hearing loss and prescribed HA were less likely to use HA in comparison to those with less severe hearing loss. The opposite relation could be seen in cochlear implants users. People with higher education were more likely to use HA compared to less educated people. Although knowledge about factors influencing usage of HA/CI and additional technologies and services is crucial for successful hearing loss management and rehabilitation, it would also be beneficial to further investigate why particular factors are responsible for underuse of hearing technologies. It would be interesting to include participants’ views on this matter.

Use of technological aids and interpretation services among children and adults with hearing loss.
Dammeyer J, Lehane C, Marschark M.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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