User Evaluation Study

General Methodology

We developed the questions to put to users with the aid of  focus group study performed in Germany (Hörzentrum Oldenburg) with 8 Hearing Aid Dispensers. The main body of data was collected using an internet-based online questionnaire, which could readily be implemented in a comparable way in different countries.

Hörzentrum Oldenburg also carried out focus group discussions with hearing impaired people.

Full details can be found in deliverable D-6-2

The online questionnaire was addressed to professionals involved in the provision of hearing aids. Based upon our proposals for procedures and informed also by the focus group discussions performed in Germany we developed an online questionnaire to be targeted at professionals in Germany, The Netherlands, and the UK.

The questionnaire was structured into three stages:

  1. Procedures prior to fitting
  2. Procedures related to fitting,
  3. Evaluation and benefit measurements (aided measurements).

The task of the participants was to rate the frequency of use of each procedure in their current practice. Participants were also able to add information on procedures not listed in the questionnaire. Participants were asked, for each procedure, if they felt the procedure should be included in the set of procedures in use in their practice, considering two different conditions:

  1. in “the real world” , i.e., given current time constraints within appointments and
  2. in an “ideal world” without these constraints (next two Figures). 

Participants were also able to give comments in free text on the online questionnaire itself and the fitting procedures covered. Finally, four much more general closing questions were presented, to be answered with “yes” or “no” (see next Figure):

  1. Would you be interested in using tests or questionnaires that are standardised across Europe, to enable large data sets to be obtained for comparative purposes?
  2. Would you be interested in allowing your patients/clients to assess benefit from fitting in the comfort of their own home by using properly designed and controlled tests or questionnaires that can be run on the Internet?
  3. Do you think it is possible to develop a procedure which would allow your patients/clients to adjust the settings of their hearing aid(s) themselves using safe and appropriately calibrated tools on their own (maybe over the Internet) in the future?
  4. If such a procedure did exist, would you use it?