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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-96

Verification and validation measures of hearing aid outcome: Audiologists' practice in Saudi Arabia

Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ahmad A Alanazi
College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, P.O. Box 3660, Riyadh, 11481 Mail Code 3129
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_27_20

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Background: The best practice guidelines require verification and validation measurements for fitting hearing-impaired patients with hearing aids (HAs). The clinical practice for verifying and validating HAs fitting in Saudi Arabia (SA) is unknown. Objectives: This study aimed to examine how audiologists verify and validate HAs fitting in SA. Materials and Methods: A convenience cross-sectional descriptive study design was used to address the aim of the study. An online-validated questionnaire was prepared and electronically distributed to reach a large number of practicing audiologists in SA. The questionnaire consisted of 16 close-ended questions and primarily focused on two categories demographic information and HAs fitting. Results: A total of 80 audiologists completed the questionnaire. The majority of participants were female (66.3%), from the central region (71.2%), worked in governmental hospitals (65%) with both adult and pediatric patients, and had different academic qualifications and teaching experiences. Audiologists (98.2%) mainly relied on the patient's feedback and the functional gain to verify HAs fitting. More than half of the participants either never or rarely used real ear measurements and coupler-based measurements. Unstructured general questions were mostly used by 65.5% of audiologists to validate fittings. The lack of equipment, time, and proper training were the core reasons for not following the best practice approach for fitting HAs. Conclusions: Verification and validation provide audiologists with confidence that their patients satisfy with HAs. Employers need to equip audiology clinics with HAs verification systems, allow more time-slots for HAs fitting cases and support up-to-date training for audiologists. To encourage validating HAs fitting regularly, audiologists are advised either to utilize already existed Arabic validation tools or to translate and validate other tools in English.

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