Outcome Measures: What can they tell me that my patient can’t?

While most audiologists acknowledge the value of measuring hearing aid outcomes, remarkably few routinely do so. The reasons are somewhat understandable – a lack of time during clinic visits, an overwhelming choice of measures, and possibly uncertainty as to what to do with the data once they are collected. In order to address some of these issues, practical ways in which measurement of hearing aid outcomes can be used to enhance evidence-based practice will be described. This will be done within the framework of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) because the ICF provides a rationale for assessing outcomes measurement in different domains. As a result, audiologists will be able to more knowledgeably select the most appropriate measure(s) for the purpose at hand. Specific examples of outcome measures in each outcome domain will be described and evidence demonstrating their value in clinical practice will be presented. It is the goal of this presentation to convince the audience of the value or even necessity of measuring hearing aid outcomes for every hearing aid fitting and to suggest ways in which this can be achieved in a time- and cost-efficient manner.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List three reasons for routinely measuring hearing aid outcomes
  2. Select outcome measures appropriate for the task at hand
  3. List two behavioral and two self-report hearing aid outcome measures