The Effect of Memory Span and Manual Dexterity on Hearing Aid Handling Skills in New and Experienced Hearing Aid Users

Jamie L. Desjardins, Carly A. Alicea, Karen A Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose The aim of the study was to determine the effect of memory function and manual dexterity on new and experienced hearing aid users' abilities to use and care for their hearing aids. Method New and experienced hearing aid users were administered the Practical Hearing Aid Skills Test-Revised (PHAST-R; Doherty & Desjardins, 2012 ), a measure of a hearing aid user's ability to use and care for their hearing aids. The test was administered during their 30-day hearing aid check or yearly hearing evaluation appointment. Participants were also administered the Digit Span Test of memory function ( Wechsler, 1997 ) and the Nine-Hole Peg Test of manual dexterity ( Mathiowetz, Weber, Kashman, & Volland,1985 ). Results Participants with poorer memory span function performed significantly poorer on the PHAST-R than participants with better memory span. However, no significant relationship between manual dexterity and PHAST-R performance was observed. Experienced hearing aid users who were recently reoriented on how to use and care for their hearing aids performed significantly better on the PHAST-R compared to new hearing aid users and experienced hearing aid users who had not received a hearing aid orientation within the last year. Cleaning the hearing aid and telephone use were the 2 PHAST-R tasks that all hearing aid clients needed the most recounseling on. Conclusion Memory span is significantly related to an individual's ability to correctly use and care for their hearing aids regardless of whether they are new or experienced hearing aid users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

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