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New research: Attitudes and confidence with hearing aids

Posted on: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 by Hannah Moysey

Nikkita Patel is studying to become an Audiologist at University College London. She is doing some research into the attitudes and stigmas associated with wearing a hearing aid and the result that this can ultimately have on audiological rehabilitation.

Research suggests that older people are less likely to feel that their well-being is adversely affected by hearing loss than younger people. This may be because younger people feel there is more of a stigma in wearing a hearing aid, whereas for older people, the use of hearing aids are more common.

However, there is contradicting research to suggest that there is a perceived stigma around hearing aid use for all age groups including for people of retirement age.

In addition to this, it is known that lack of confidence with hearing aids (for example changing batteries, insertion of the earmould) can be a barrier to hearing aid use. It is generally felt that this is more of a barrier for older users rather than younger users.

Nikita is aiming to investigate if there is a difference in attitude towards hearing aids and a difference in confidence between younger and older hearing aid users.

The research is important because:

  1. Stigma attached to hearing loss can often be seen as a barrier to Audiological rehabilitation.
  2. As clinicians, we want hearing aid users to minimize their stigma and negative thoughts associated with hearing aids.
  3. It is important to increase awareness of the importance of communication and hearing aid use.

Interested in taking part in this research?

  • Are you a current hearing aid user aged 18 or above?
  • Are you self- conscious about wearing your hearing aids or do you forget about them once you put them on?
  • Are your hearing aids hidden away in the drawer or do they shine bright on your ears?

Whatever your thoughts, why not take 5 minutes to participate in a short online or postal survey.

The survey is completely anonymous and your participation will be assisting a BSc Audiology student with her final year project.  The closing date for the survey is Friday 25 January 2013.

Thank you for your interest in this survey. Unfortunately this has now closed. We hope to update you on Nikkita's progress in her research soon.

For more details

For more information on the project, please contact Nikita Patel (University College London) or Lucy Handscomb (project supervisor) on or by post at UCL Ear Institute, 332 Grays Inn Road, London  WC1X 8EE.


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