Cognitive anxiety levels of first-time hearing aid users and their significant others throughout the consultation process (2013)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Department of Communication Disorders
The primary aim of this study was to compare levels of cognitive anxiety for a group of first-time hearing aid users and their significant other before, during, and after hearing aid fitting. Secondary goals included: (1) comparing levels of cognitive anxiety for participants and their significant others at the same intervals, (2) assessing possible effects of gender on the experience of cognitive anxiety, (3) comparing the levels of cognitive anxiety for participants who adopted hearing aids and those that did not, and (4) identifying themes relating to the experience of hearing impairment and consultation for services. Thirty-nine adults between the ages of 30 and 87 years of age with and without hearing impairments participated in several interviews. Cognitive anxiety was measured using the Cognitive Anxiety Scale (CAS) by Viney & Westbrook (1976), which is a content analysis, grounded in personal construct psychology. The following research questions have been addressed: 1a) Do cognitive anxiety levels change in individuals with hearing impairment as they go through the consultation process? 1b) Is there any difference in cognitive anxiety levels between male and female participants with hearing impairment as they go through the consultation process? 2a) Do cognitive anxiety levels change in normal hearing significant others of individuals with hearing impairment as they go through the consultation process? 2b) Is there any difference in cognitive anxiety levels between male and female significant others as they go through the consultation process? 3a) Do cognitive anxiety levels differ between participants with hearing impairment who adopt amplification and those who do not? 3b) Do cognitive anxiety levels of significant others differ between participants with hearing impairment who adopt amplification and those who do not? Results revealed reduced cognitive anxiety levels for hearing impaired adults between the first interview and third interview, between the second interview and third interview, but no significant difference was found between the first interview and second interview. Furthermore, for significant others, CAS scores were significantly higher at interview 2 compared to interview 3, but no significant difference was found between interview 1 and interview 3, or between interview 1 and interview 2. Additionally, no significant differences in levels of cognitive anxiety were found between hearing impaired adults and significant others in the adopter and non-adopter group, and no gender differences were observed between hearing impaired adults and significant others. This study illustrates how important it is to involve the significant other in the consultation progress. However, due to a small sample size most analyses were underpowered therefore more research is needed to investigate cognitive anxiety levels in hearing impaired adults and their significant others.
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