Testing 250 people in Germany
Hörzentrum Oldenburg in Germany collected data from 250 OVQ questionnaires filled in during interview sessions. The results clearly showed that hearing-aid users have more problems related to own voice than an age-matched group of normal-hearing people. They had problems with own voice level control, speaking and hearing at the same time, and the use of whispering.
Much to our surprise, we found no differences in own-voice problems between sub-groups of hearing-aid users with large and small vents. This was unexpected, as there should be a major difference in occlusion effect between the two groups. The most likely explanation is ‘self-selection’ – only people who are comfortable with small-vent fittings have accepted and use these devices. This question was subsequently re-examined in a follow-up study, where the self-selection mechanism was eliminated.