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Comparison of audiological results and patient satisfaction of bone-anchored hearing aids: Baha®
BP110 versus Ponto Pro Power
Busch S. , Giere T. , Lenarz T. , Maier H.
Medical University Hannover, Department of Otolaryngology, Hannover, Germany
Introduction: Despite a variety of implantable hearing systems (e.g., transcutaneous bone conduction devices
and middle ear implants) for patients with mixed or conductive hearing loss, bone-anchored hearing aids are still
an important alternative in rehabilitation. This study aims to investigate the audiological outcome and patient
satisfaction for two new high power bone-anchored devices: The Ponto Pro Power (Oticon Medical) and the
Baha BP110 (Cochlear).
Methods & Material: Patients (N = 11) experienced with bone-anchored devices and with a bone conduction
PTA (0.5 - 4.0 kHz) threshold equal or better than 55 dB HL on the implanted side were included in the study.
Patients tested the devices in a balanced cross-over design to avoid bias. All patients received a fitting of each
device according to the manufacture's guidelines followed by a 3-week period of everyday usage. At the end of
each test period, subjects were audiologically and subjectively evaluated. Audiological outcome was determined
by aided threshold, intelligibility of monosyllables (Freiburger) and speech reception thresholds in noise (OLSA,
S0N90 or S0N270) for the respective devices and settings (omni- and full-directional mode). The subjective benefit
was evaluated by the APHAB, SSQ-C questionnaire and a handling questionnaire which addresses the
operation of the device, occurrence of feedback and annoyance to wind noise.
Results: Audiological results indicate similar performance for the two devices in terms of functional gain (29 dB
for both devices). The intelligibility of monosyllables (L50% 58 dB HL (Ponto) vs. 55 dB HL (BP110), p > 0.05) and
speech intelligibility in noise (SNRomni 0.3 dB (Ponto) vs. -0.3 dB (BP110), p > 0.05; SNRfull -1.0 dB (Ponto) vs. 2.4 dB (BP110), p > 0.05) were found slightly better for the BP110. However, subjective evaluation of the two
devices imply a better performance of the Ponto Pro Power due to a better rated speech understanding, sound
quality in different every-day hearing situations and less feedback and wind annoyance. Some of the accessed
categories attained significance, explaining greater patient satisfaction compared to the BP110.
Conclusion: Objective audiological outcomes and subjective rating of the Ponto and Baha are minor, but point
into opposite direction. The absence of clear disadvantages of either device shows the necessity for testing both
options to give room for a patient's individual decision and preference.