To investigate the applicability of the self-report inventory, Satisfaction with Amplification in Daily Life (SADL), at 2 wk postfitting.
The SADL was completed by two groups of hearing aid users, one fitted 2 wk before completion, the other at least 1 yr before. All SADLs were completed as a paper and pencil exercise, without involvement of an audiologist or other clinic staff. All the aid users were Government funded, all were fitted with the same model hearing aid, all were over the age of 60 yr, and all were fitted and counselled by the same two audiologists. Comparisons were made of the two groups’ scores on each subscale and Global score, as well as on scores for each individual question.
All scores for subscales, Global score, and individual questions were higher at 2 wk postfitting than at 1 yr. Significant differences were found for subscales Positive Effect (p < 0.05), Service and Cost (p < 0.025), Negative Features (p < 0.001), as well as for the Global score (p < 0.001). The only subscale not resulting in a significant difference was Personal Image (p > 0.10). It was noted that Negative Features, such as background interference, acoustic feedback, and problems with telephone use, apparently take longer to be observed than Positive Effects such as improved communication and good sound quality.
By contrast with some other reported studies, these results all display a reduction in self-reported outcome, rather than stability, or even improvement, over time. Among other possibilities, this finding may suggest the SADL measures something different to that measured by other inventories.
The results of this investigation suggest that, if the aim is to predict long-term satisfaction with aid fitting, 2 wk postfitting is too early for meaningful application of the SADL as an outcome measure. It is possible that an earlier stability in SADL scores might be obtained by inclusion of additional questions aimed at earlier detection of negative features. Such inclusions may detract from one of the SADL’s advantages, namely its brevity.
It also is suggested that the long-term value of self-report methods will depend on development of rigorous and scientifically acceptable administration procedures, including appropriate times for application.