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Introduction: Once fitted with hearing aids, much reliance is placed on patients' own ability to manage their devices effectively. There has, however, been little research to assess how patients' own confidence compares with their actual ability to manage their hearing aids. This study compares patients' perceptions of their ability to insert their hearing aids with their observed ability to insert the devices satisfactorily.
Method: Eighty-five patients provided a rating of their level of confidence in fitting their hearing aid, using a visual analogue score (VAS). This was then compared with their observed level of ability, assessed by an audiologist, also using a VAS (both scores 0–100 mm).
Results: We found a weak to moderate correlation between the subjective and objective scores (Pearson r = 0.4912).
Conclusions: From these results, we would advise caution when accepting a patient's perceived level of ability as the only indicator of their true ability to insert their hearing aid. This also has important implications for follow-up services that rely only on telephone conversations with patients after a first fitting.