Provision, perception and use of trainable hearing aids in Australia: a survey of clinicians and hearing impaired adults

<p><i>Objective</i>: This study set out to obtain information on the impact of trainable hearing aids among clinicians and hearing aid users and candidates. <i>Design</i>: Two online adaptive surveys were developed to evaluate provision, uptake and experience or expectation of trainable hearing aids. <i>Study sample</i>: Responses from 259 clinicians, 81 hearing aid users and 23 candidates for hearing aids were included. <i>Results</i>: Over half of the clinicians surveyed activated trainable features in hearing aids. Most of these clinicians activated trainable features for selected users and reported positive findings. Most commonly trainable features were not activated because the hearing aid controls had already been disabled for management or client preference. One-third reported that they had no access to trainable aids or they were unsure about the presence or activation of trainable features. The remaining clinicians never activated trainable features. One in five users reported having used trainable aids and 93% would train again. Over 85% of the remaining hearing-impaired adults were interested in trainable aids.</p> <p><i>Conclusions</i>: Positive reports from most providers and users who had experience with the trainable feature support the provision of trainable aids to selected clients, pending more evidence-based data to support the clinical management of such devices.</p>