The use of ecological momentary assessment to evaluate real-world aided outcomes with children
International Journal of Audiology
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Background: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods allow for real-time, real-world survey data collection. Studies with adults have reported EMA as a feasible and valid tool in the measurement of real-world listening experience. Research is needed to investigate the use of EMA with children who wear hearing aids. Objectives: This study explored the implementation of EMA with children using a single-blinded repeated measures design to evaluate real-world aided outcome. Methods: Twenty-nine children, aged 7–17, used manual program switching to access hearing aid programs, fitted according to Desired Sensation Level (DSL) version 5.0 child quiet and noise prescriptive targets. Aided outcome was measured using participant-triggered twice-daily EMA entries, across listening situations and hearing dimensions. Results: Adherence to the EMA protocol by the children was high (82.4% compliance rate). Speech loudness, understanding and preference results were found to relate to both the hearing aid program and the listening situation. Aided outcomes related to prescription-based noise management were found to be highest in noisy situations. Conclusions: Mobile device-based EMA methods can be used to inform daily life listening experience with children. Prescription-based noise management was found to decrease perceived loudness in noisy, non-school environments; this should be evaluated in combination with hearing aid noise reductions features.