Clinical study shows for adults with mild and moderate hearing loss, there were no differences between PSAP, basic HA, and premium HA

In a study published by the American Medical Association, JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online May 16, 2019 titled, Clinical Performance Evaluation of a Personal Sound Amplification Product vs a Basic Hearing Aid and a Premium Hearing Aid, they found that for those with mild and moderate hearing loss, there were no differences between PSAP, basic HA, and premium HA for speech perception, sound quality, listening effort, and user preference.

Young Sang Cho, MD1,2Su Yeon Park, BS2Hye Yoon Seol, AuD2et al

The Study.
A prospective, single-institution cohort study was performed with a total of 56 participants, including 19 with mild hearing loss, 20 with moderate hearing loss, and 17 with moderately severe hearing loss. All participants underwent 4 clinical hearing tests with each of the PSAP, basic HA, and premium HA, and all completed an evaluative questionnaire. The study used the Korean version of the hearing in noise test, the speech intelligibility in noise test, listening effort measurement using a dual-task paradigm, pupillometry, and a self-rating questionnaire regarding sound quality and preference. These tests were administered under the following 4 hearing conditions: unaided hearing, use of PSAP, use of basic HA, and use of premium HA. All hearing devices (PSAP, basic HA, and premium HA) were applied by a clinician to prevent bias and order effects; participants were blinded to the device in use, and sequence of devices was randomized.

The results indicate that basic and premium HAs were not superior to the PSAP in patients with mild to moderate hearing impairment, which suggests that PSAPs might be used as an alternative to HAs in these patient populations. However, if hearing loss is more severe, then HAs, especially premium HAs, should be considered as an option to manage hearing loss.