CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Semin Hear 2021; 42(04): 365-372
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1739369
Review Article

Functional Assessment of Hearing Aid Benefit: Incorporating Verification and Aided Speech Recognition Testing into Routine Practice

Sarah A. Sydlowski
1   Cleveland Clinic – Head and Neck Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
Michelle King
1   Cleveland Clinic – Head and Neck Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
2   Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Karen Petter
1   Cleveland Clinic – Head and Neck Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
Meagan Lewis Bachmann
3   Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
› Author Affiliations


Potential cochlear implant (CI) candidates arrive to the clinic with a variety of hearing loss configurations, hearing aid history, and aided capabilities. CI candidacy is primarily determined based on aided speech recognition capability, which relies on benefit derived from use of hearing aids. Therefore, contemporary evaluation for CI candidacy should incorporate a battery of testing to determine abilities and limitations and must be predicated on appropriate verification of the hearing aid fitting. However, recent reports, including a retrospective chart review of patients presenting to Cleveland Clinic for CI evaluation, suggest that a significant subset of patients may be using inappropriately fit or programmed amplification. Thus, a combination of simulated real-ear measurements and aided speech recognition testing is essential for fully assessing the effect of amplification and ultimately determination of CI candidacy. Furthermore, waiting to incorporate these tools until CI candidacy is suspected may delay timely identification of problems or need to change technology. Utilization of evidence-based decision drivers ultimately leads clinicians to timely patient-specific interventions which may include surgical intervention or other amplification options. As audiology moves into a healthcare era in which payers consider the benefit of our services to overall health and well-being, demonstrating timely, optimal outcomes using thorough, multifactorial evaluation is essential.

Publication History

Publication Date:
09 December 2021 (online)

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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