Hearing Aid Instruction Booklets: employing usability-testing to determine effectiveness

Ruth E Brooke, Sarah Isherwood, Nicholas C Herbert, David K Raynor, Peter Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: This study implemented performance-based usability- and literature-testing to determine whether people could use two instruction booklets for hearing aids (HAs) to carry out basic maintenance tasks and find and understand key facts. METHOD: Using a cross-sectional study design, 40 participants (25 female, aged 46-72 years) with no experience of HAs or audiology services were recruited to test instruction booklets for a Danalogic and Unitron HA (20 participants each). Participants were asked to follow instructions provided within the booklets to complete common HA tasks (for example cleaning the HA and mould and changing the battery) and demonstrate understanding of information. Participants' views of the booklets were then obtained within a short individual interview. RESULTS: Participants experienced problems in completing all tasks whilst following instructions provided by the Danalogic and Unitron booklets. Individual interviews highlighted further issues regarding layout, diagrams and content, including missing information. CONCLUSIONS: Some HA instruction booklets contain information which some users may find difficult to find, understand and follow. These limitations may negatively impact on HA satisfaction and use. It is recommended that written information for clients is evaluated prior to use and this study supports that performance-based usability- and literature-testing are appropriate methods to use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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