Motivation for hearing aid uptake amongst Malay adults in the Klang Valley, Malaysia.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Hearing rehabilitation is not a straightforward process as evident from established factors influencing adults’ rehabilitation decision. However, it cannot be assumed that the factors identified apply to Malaysian malay adults due to differences in culture, religious belief, health belief, social support, and service delivery. The objectives of this study were to: 1) describe the audiometric and demographic profiles of adults consulting for audiological services at the Hospital Sungai Buloh (HSB) and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR), in the Klang Valley, Malaysia, 2) explore the internal and external factors perceived to influence hearing aid uptake amongst the adults with hearing impairment, and 3) apply the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) terminologies in describing the internal (personal in ICF terminology) and external (environmental in ICF terminology) factors perceived to influence hearing aid uptake.
A sequential quantitative-qualitative mixed method research design was selected to achieve the research objectives. A retrospective cohort study design was selected for the Part 1 study in order to identify profiles of adults consulting for audiology service at the HSB and HTAR. One hundred data points from each hospital containing demographic and audiological information were analysed and described quantitatively. The result served to guide participant selection criteria for the Part 2 qualitative study. Twenty-two Malay adults, 11 from each hospital, participated in the Part 2 study. The participants recruited from HSB aged between 40 and 69 years, while those from HTAR were aged between 50 and 69 years.
In the Part 2 study, two-stage semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted: 1) Stage 1 interviews were carried out following the participants’ hearing assessment, and 2) Stage 2 interviews were conducted following the participants’ hearing demonstration. Through qualitative content analysis, categories generated were grouped into eight factor groupings, developed using the ICF terminologies, delineating personal factors, environmental factors and factors associated with activities and participation. While many of the results corroborated findings from previous research, new categories found included those associated to hearing aid demonstrations, perceptions of hearing aids and its use, stage of life, cultural practice, and religious belief. Hearing aid demonstration session was found to be an important factor facilitating hearing aid uptake.
In summary, this study showed that Malaysian malay adults with hearing impairment who seek hearing help for the first time perceive a multitude of factors that influence their decisions to adopt hearing aids. The identified factors inform audiologists to be more perceptive of the clients’ needs and issues regarding hearing aids. This study also demonstrated that these factors can be contextualised using the ICF terminologies, providing a common language for clinical applications and future research. Areas for improvement for the audiology public service were identified and gaps of knowledge highlighted for future studies.