Background: In spite of an increased risk of hearing impairment in persons with an intellectual disability (ID), rehabilitation with hearing aids often fails. We performed a descriptive pilot study with the following study questions: 1 Do comparable elements as in the general population contribute to expectations of and satisfaction with hearing aids in adults with mild or moderate IDs? 2 To what extent do adults with an ID depend on carersin use and maintenance of hearing aids? Method: Study population: 16 adults with amild or moderate ID and a recent diagnosis of hearing impairment. Method: information by means of specially designed booklets; semi-structured interviews prior to hearing aid fitting and 6 months afterwards. Analysis: descriptive. Results: In total, 14/16 participants were able to give reliable answers. Most were aware of their hearing loss and familiar with reasons for hearing aids. A minority expressed positive expectations. Some expressed explicit wishes on the looks of hearing aids. All satisfaction domains as described for the general population could be recognized. Most participants were partially or totally dependent on carers in use and maintenance of hearing aids. Conclusions: Adults with ID may have explicit ideas and wishes about hearing aids and, if specifically asked, are capable of expressing these. Given information should be checked and repeated. In satisfaction with hearing aids, comparable elements may play a role as in the general population: benefit, cosmetics, sound quality/acoustics, comfort/ease of use, and service delivery. These findings, however, are from a small-scale study. Additional research is necessary to find out whether they are applicable more generally. © 2007 The Authors. Journal Compilation

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Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Meuwese-Jongejeugd, A., Verschuure, H., & Evenhuis, H. (2007). Hearing aids: Expectations and satisfaction of people with an intellectual disability, a descriptive pilot study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(11), 913–922. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2007.00952.x