Verification and Validation Methods Used in Hearing Aid Centers

Authors: Sule Cekic1, Elif Zehra Biber1, Gülse Akdemir1

1Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University

Background: Verification and validation are necessary for successful hearing aid fitting process. These methods are used for testing the function and the efficacy of hearing-aid amplification. This study aimed to examine how often verification and validation are performed and which testing tools are preferred at hearing aid (IC) centers in Turkiye.

Method: A total of 138 audiologists or audiometrists were participated in the study. Subjects facilitated through digital platforms. A self-administered 15-item questionnaire was presented electronically. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: The majority of the participants (n=138) were audiologists (74.6%). It was noted that Real Ear Measurement (REM), Coupler Based Measurement, In-Situ Test, Scales/Questionnaires, Aided Free-field Testing were available at the centers. The rate of those who used REM always was 27.5%. In-situ test was the most frequently used method to assess functional gain (62.3%). Most of the participants (82%) evaluate the satisfaction level by “directly talking about performance in daily life”. The main reason for not verifying and validating hearing aid fitting process was lack of time with a rate of 23.9%.

Conclusion: Hearing aid practitioners in Turkiye don’t use verification tools on a daily basis and prefer validation methods, although many devices are easily accessible in centers. Although time limitation has been shown as the main reason for this, we think that awareness about verification and validation also affects this situation. Providing user-friendly protocols and raising awareness on this issue throughout the country will be beneficial.