Adoption, use and non-use of hearing aids: a robust estimate based on Welsh national survey statistics

Harvey Dillon, John Day, Sarah Bant, Kevin Munro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To report a robust measure of the proportion of adults who do not use their hearing aids.

Design: Data on hearing aid use was extracted from national household survey data, from 2004 to 2018 in Wales, UK.

Study sample: A representative sample of 10,000 to 16,000 adults per year.

Results: Self-reported hearing difficulty increased smoothly from 14 to 16% during the 12 years when survey administration remained unchanged. The proportion reporting that they had tried a hearing aid increased from 5 to 7% and stabilised at this level since 2011. The proportion who reported using their hearing aid most of the time increased from 47% to 52% during the 15 year period. The proportion who did not use their hearing aids at all decreased from 21% to 18% over the same period.

Conclusions: In this extensively-surveyed population, approximately 20% of adults currently do not use their hearing aids at all, 30% use them some of the time and the remaining 50% most of the time. Hearing aids are valued by many, as judged by use, but there is substantial room for improvement. Inclusion of questions on use within a large-scale, regular national survey enables collection of demonstrably reliable data.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 May 2020


  • hearing aids
  • use
  • non-use
  • difficulty
  • Survey


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