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The Impact of Senior Mobility Funding on Hearing Aid Acquisition and Compliance to Hearing Aid Use in a Singapore Hospital

Journal of Audiology & Otology 2021년 25권 1호 p.8 ~ 13
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Abstract


Background and Objectives: In 2013, the Singapore government reviewed and expanded the Senior Mobility Fund (SMF) to provide subsidy for assistive devices, including hearing aids (HA). While SMF has improved accessibility to HA, its impact on HA acquisition has not been determined. The study aims to elucidate the influence of SMF on HA acquisition and the relationship between financial funding and compliance to HA use.

Subjects and Methods: Retrospective review of 643 patients seen between January 2017 to January 2018 at the earnose and throat specialist outpatient clinic, who were referred for a hearing aid evaluation. Of the 643 patients, 109 patients with baseline hearing handicap (HH) scores recorded, and no formal diagnosis of cognitive impairment were included. The patients were grouped according to SMF eligibility and clinical data were obtained.

Results: The odds ratio for acquiring HA was significantly higher with SMF, regardless of HH scores. When looking at actual degree of hearing loss (DHL), HA uptake was significantly higher in the least severe of DHL categories. There is no relationship between SMF and compliance to HA use. However, HH score is positively correlated with data log in regression analyses.

Conclusions: SMF appears to influence HA acquisition. Especially in financially funded patients with low self-perceived HH, the benefits of HA may be underappreciated given the few hours of HA use. Further studies are warranted to investigate the impact of financial funding on outcomes of HA users to help policy planners and clinicians be prudent in the utilization of SMF.

키워드

Hearing aids; Economics; Compliance; Hearing loss; Persons with hearing impairments

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