Evaluation of the self-fitting process with a commercially available hearing aid


Convery, E., Keidser, G., Seeto, M. and McLelland, M., 2017. Evaluation of the self-fitting process with a commercially available hearing aid. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology , 28 (2), pp.109-118.

Convery_2016.pdf (280.1 KB)

Results: Fifty-five percent of participants were able to successfully perform the self-fitting
procedure. Although the same success rate was observed for both experienced and new
participants, the majority of the errors relating to the hearing test and the fine-tuning tasks
were made by the experienced participants, while all of the errors associated with physically
customizing the hearing aids and most of the insertion errors were made by the new
participants. Although the majority of partners became involved in the self-fitting task, their
contributions did not significantly influence the outcome. Further, no characteristic or
combination of characteristics reliably predicted which participants would be successful at
the self-fitting task.


Give me access to real ear, and I will program aids as well as most if not better than most.


So, I scrolled through the study quickly and I couldn’t actually see anywhere that the output of the hearing aids were measured. So, this study wasn’t looking at whether users were able to appropriately fit hearing aids for their hearing loss, or whether the devices are sufficiently able to get to an appropriate end point with a user-fit. Rather, it was looking at whether users could follow a set of simple instructions?

55% seems low.


Yes it does state that even those 55% needed to be guided through the process by professionals so it does not imply that they replaced the role of a professional even after self fitting.
Measuring the output of the hearing devices leads to the need of a study on the percentage of professionals who measure the output . I wonder what that percentage would be .


There is kind of this dichotomy out there. The gold standard for fitting hearing aids is to use REM. From what I’ve read, most professionals don’t use it. Somebody tech savvy and good at following instructions should be able to come close or get better results. However, this study suggests that many are not very good at following simple instructions. Ideally people would have access to professionals that routinely offered to do REM.


I’ve heard 30%, but I hope that is an older statistic and that its adoption is increasing rapidly.