Characteristics and help-seeking behavior of people failing a smart device self-test for hearing

29 Oct 2021

PURPOSE : This study investigated user characteristics, help-seeking behavior, and follow-up actions of people who failed an app-based digits-in-noise hearing screening test, considering their stage of change. METHOD : Test and user characteristics of 3,092 listeners who failed the test were retrospectively analyzed. A posttest survey determining follow-up (verb) actions was sent to listeners who failed the test (n = 1,007), of which 59 responded. RESULTS : The majority of listeners were in the precontemplation stage (75.5%). Age and stage of change were significant (p < .05) predictors of the digits-in-noise speech recognition threshold (DIN SRT). Listeners in the precontemplation stage were significantly younger than in other stages (p < .05). Posttest survey response rate was low (5.9%). Of those, most (82.4%) did not think they had a hearing loss. Only 13.6% followed up with an audiologist. CONCLUSION : Older people presented with poorer DIN SRTs and were typically in a more advanced stage of change. The majority of those who did not follow up after failing the screening test did not believe they had a hearing loss. A combination of factors, including poor DIN SRT, older age, and a more advanced stage of change inclined participants to follow up with audiological care.