BACKGROUND: The low uptake of hearing aids in the United States has been attributed to a number of reasons, including low perceived hearing disability, limited perceived benefit and cost. Another possible reason may be related to negative side effects associated with hearing aid use.
PURPOSE: The present study was aimed at determining and classifying the negative side effects associated with hearing aid use in adults with hearing loss.
RESEARCH DESIGN: The study used a cross-sectional survey design.
STUDY SAMPLE: Five hundred and twelve participants completed an electronic survey.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The data was collected using the negative side effects of hearing aids (NSE-HAs) questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Chi square analysis, principal components analysis, and calculation of Cronbach’s alpha.
RESULTS: Some individuals reported negative side effects for all 32 items. However, careful examination of results suggests that, as a whole, reported negative side effects tend to be mild with mean scores falling close to the lower quartile of the total scores. Chi square test results suggest that the variables of age, gender, duration of hearing loss, self-reported hearing disability, and duration of hearing aid use seem to be significantly associated with the reported negative side effects. The NSE-HAs questionnaire was found to have a complex structure as indicated by the principal components analysis. However, good internal consistency was found in both the full scale and subscales.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study suggests that, although a large number of adults with hearing loss who use hearing aids experience some degree of negative side effects, those effects tend to be mild.