Factors Associated With Hearing Aid Disuse In New Zealand/Aotearoa
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Introduction: Despite the advantages of using a hearing aid (HA), only 1 out of 5 individuals who could benefit from a (HA) actually use one (World Health Organization, 2012). If an individual does not use a HA then it may impact on their quality of life, as well as others around them (Chia et al., 2007). Therefore it is important to understand why individuals do not use HAs after obtaining them. To date, there has been no study that investigates the reasons for HA disuse in the New Zealand population.
Methods: Two groups of adults with hearing impairment were recruited: HA users (N = 35) and HA disusers (N = 35). Six self-report questionnaires, three audiometric tests and two other body function measures were compared between the groups.
Results: Several variables differentiated HA users from disusers, these significant variables were: cognition, understanding speech in noise, acceptance of noise, age at testing, education, hearing assistance technology (HAT) use, HA satisfaction, self-efficacy, accepted need, application for HA subsidy, HA outcomes, stages-of-change, perceived environmental influence, follow-up support and hearing related activity limitations/participation restrictions (AL/PR).
Discussion: The clinical value of identifying factors related to HA disuse is so clinicians can identify “red flags” for disuse before the client stops using their HAs. By identifying these red flags, rehabilitation can be tailored around the clients’ needs; before the negative consequences of an untreated hearing impairment is felt.