Why Not Wear Hearing Aids?
McCormack and Fortnum (2013) note that hearing loss is associated with poor quality of life among older people and may lead to increased health and mood disorders (i.e., depression and anxiety); hearing loss may also increase the risk of mortality. McCormack and Fortnum report that in the United Kingdom, the average age of the first-time user (FTU) of hearing aids is 74 years of age.
The authors performed a "scoping study" based on extensive quantitative and qualitative findings from PubMed, which revealed the most common reasons people did not wear their prescribed hearing aids were (lack of) "value" followed by "fit and comfort" issues. (Scoping studies are used to indicate where knowledge has been established and where findings are suggestive, yet not definitive. Scoping studies summarize and disseminate findings.) Specifically, McCormack and Fortnum report their scoping study indicated hearing aids were not effective in noise, provided poor benefit or sound quality and were not suitable for the hearing loss. Further, they report the patient’s manual dexterity and their ability to insert/remove the hearing aid was an issue for some patients. Therefore, they recommend future research should focus on hearing aid value, fit and comfort of the hearing aid, care and maintenance issues and attitudes and device factors.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Amlani AM. (2013) Influence of Perceived Value on Hearing Aid Adoption and Re-Adoption Intent. Hearing Review Products March:8-12.
Beck DL. (2012) Perspectives on First-Time Users of Amplification. Audiology Practices 4(1):2225.
Beck DL, Kochkin S. (2013) Presentation titled "Reducing Hearing Aid Returns for Credit." NJAHHP, Galloway, NJ, April.
Kochki S. (2009) MarkeTrakVIII25 Year Trends in the Hearing Health Market. Hearing Review 16(11):12-31.
Kochkin S, Beck DL, Christensen LA, Compton-Conley C, Fligor BJ, Kricos P et al. (2010) MarkeTrak VIII The Impact of the Hearing Healthcare Professional On Hearing Aid User Success. Hearing Review 17(4):12-34.
McCormack A, Fortnum H. (2013) Why Do People Fitted With Hearing Aids Not Wear Them? International Journal of Audiology. 52:360-368