Background: As the second-most prevalent disability in Thailand, mitigating the effects of hearing loss can have wide-ranging benefits. Despite the availability of hearing aids, its usage remains low. Objective: This research aimed to study factors related to utilization of hearing aids: age, gender, level of education, degree of hearing loss, understanding of usage and maintenance, and attitudes towards its use. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 30 hearing loss patients of the Thai Red Cross (TRC) Hearing Aids Project for the Underprivileged, Sisaket Hospital, Sisaket Province, Thailand (here in after referred to as “TRC Hearing Aids Project”) by face-to-face interviews from November 2017 to March 2019. Results: Many of the subjects (62.0%) are elderly with a mean age of 63.4 years (SD = 18.2). The group is equally represented by men (51.7%) and women (48.3%). The group’s level of education is fairly low, with 86.2% having finished only elementary school. Most of them (41.4%) have had hearing loss for 6 - 10 years; the degree of hearing loss is moderately severe; 96.6% have bilateral hearing loss and; 86.2% of the subjects use hearing aids. The hearing aid utilization rate is 3 hours per day. About half (48.3%) have a moderate level of understanding usage and maintenance. Factors that are related to utilization of hearing aids were age, self-image, earache, acoustic feedback, and overall satisfaction. Conclusion: Patients of the TRC Hearing Aids Project have hearing aids utilization rates less-than-ideal. Most of them are elderly and need time to get accustomed to using them.
Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University
"Utilization of hearing aids for the underprivileged at Sisaket Hospital under Thai Red Cross Hearing Aids Project,"
Chulalongkorn Medical Journal: Vol. 65:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://digital.car.chula.ac.th/clmjournal/vol65/iss2/8