In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Singh and Dhar (2023) reported results of a survey to examine consumer attitudes and opinions regarding over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The 1,037 participants had no hearing aid experience and were 50 years or older (M=61 years).
The survey addressed participant’s experience with OTC hearing aids, level of comfort with OTC devices, and likelihood of pursuing hearing health care online or in person. Survey results suggested most respondents were uncomfortable obtaining OTC hearing devices online. These respondents were more likely to seek in-person hearing health care (84 percent). Overall, individuals who were unlikely to pursue OTC hearing devices online were older, had an annual income greater than $150k, and were not interested in pursuing any hearing aids. Conversely, respondents who were most likely to obtain OTC hearing devices online had previous experience with direct-to-consumer devices, were uncertain about insurance coverage, or did not have insurance coverage for hearing devices.
Given the high percentage of individuals who prefer to seek hearing health care in person, the authors concluded that current consumer attitudes about OTC hearing devices may hinder acceptance of this direct-to-consumer model.
Singh J, Dhar S. (2023) Assessment of Consumer Attitudes Following Recent Changes in the US Hearing Health Care Market. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online.
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