Date of Degree

5-2019

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Au.D.

Program

Audiology

Advisor

Barbara Weinstein

Keywords

hearing aid, battery, rechargeable, disposable, audiology

Abstract

Rec­­hargeable battery hearing aids offer the user many benefits over disposable battery hearing aids. They are easier and more convenient to handle, are environmentally friendly, and offer peace of mind as the charge is not expected to run out during the day. Another potential benefit of rechargeable battery hearing aids is that because rechargeable battery hearing aids are simpler to manage than disposable hearing aid batteries, the time taken to counsel and teach patients about battery handling and maintenance with rechargeable batteries is expected to be less than the time needed for orientation with disposable batteries. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a difference in the amount of time spent during a hearing aid orientation for disposable batteries compared to rechargeable batteries as well as to see patient preference for battery type and what features are important to a patient when choosing battery type.

Participants were screened for visual acuity and cognitive status prior to beginning the study. Those who passed the screeners were given a hearing aid orientation for both rechargeable hearing aid batteries and disposable batteries. At the end of each session, teachback was employed to ensure the patients understood and recalled the information presented. The orientations including the teachback were timed. At the end of both orientations, participants filled out a survey of preferences.

Results indicate the rechargeable battery orientation took a shorter amount of time than the disposable battery orientation. While participants indicated both the disposable and rechargeable batteries were easy to handle, participants preferred the rechargeable battery over the disposable battery, citing convenience and ease of use as their main reasons for their preference. Features participants considered important when choosing battery type included convenience, environmental friendliness, and not having to worry about replacing batteries when using hearing aids during the day, all features found with rechargeable technology. These findings indicate rechargeable battery hearing aids should be offered as an option to all patients looking to adopt hearing aids.

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