Evaluation and revision of hearing aid user guides available in New Zealand/Aotearoa
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Hearing impairment and the issues associated with it is prominent issue in today‟s society, especially when considering the aging nature of New Zealand/Aotearoa„s population. Hearing impairment affects a diverse range of people of varying ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, levels of education, and degrees of literacy skills. in many cases of hearing impairment, hearing aids are suitable tools to help improve an individuals hearing, and thus their quality of life. It is important that individuals suffering from hearing impairment are provided with all the information they need to order to get the best outcomes. Poor health literacy skills can also affect a wide range of people, with research showing the majority of New Zealanders have poor health literacy. This is a concerning fact, given that poor health literacy skills can lead to poor health outcomes. It is therefore of great importance that any written materials provided to individuals, such as a hearing aid user guide, have a suitable readability for the majority of the New Zealand/Aotearoa population to understand. The aim of this study was to evaluate the readability and suitability of 24 hearing aid user guides available in New Zealand/Aotearoa. It also aimed to improve the readability and suitability of the lowest scoring user guide, by implementing learner verification and revision. Results confirmed that all 24 of the hearing aid user guides assessed had readability levels above the level recommended across previous literature. The suitability of the user guides, assessed using the SAM tool, showed that 87% of the guides were “adequate”, while the remaining guides were deemed “not suitable”. The hearing aid user guide was revised using best practise guidelines and incorporating feedback from 10 participants. After revision, the user guide readability was improved and it was received much more positively by the participants. It is hoped the results of this study will encourage revision to more hearing aid user guides available in New Zealand/Aotearoa, in order to make them easier for the hearing impaired population to read and understand.