Parent Hearing Aid Experiences in the United States

a baby's hearing check in progress

Muñoz, K., Blaiser, K., & Barwick, K. (in press). Parent hearing aid experiences in the United States, Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.


Background: Children born with permanent hearing loss have the opportunity to receive services earlier as a result of newborn hearing screening (NHS). The survey addressed three aspects within the early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) process: (1) timeliness of service delivery, (2) hearing device access, and (3) hearing aid management. Parent experiences provide valuable information in identifying existing challenges for these components of the EHDI system.

Purpose: The aim was to investigate parent experiences with accessing and managing hearing aids for their child.

Research Design: Cross-sectional, population-based survey.

Study Sample: Three hundred and fifty two completed surveys from parents of children born between 1977 and 2010 were returned from 45 states.

Data Collection and Analysis: Responses were obtained online and through the mail, and were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Over time the age of hearing loss identification has decreased to a median of 2 months, age of first hearing aid fitting has decreased to a median of 5 months, and the delay between hearing loss identification and hearing aid fitting has remained the same with a median of 2 months. For children born between 2007 and 2010 the top three challenges parents reported in obtaining hearing aids were (1) paying for hearing aids, (2) accepting the need for hearing aids, and (3) wait time for an appointment. Almost half (48%) of the parents reported that they did not receive adequate support from their audiologist in how to check the function of their child’s hearing aids.

For more information about this article, contact Karen Muñoz