Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent health impairments associated with ageing in developed countries, and it can result in social, emotional and communication dysfunction. Hearing loss in Italy is increasing, yet, despite the availability of free hearing aids and access to qualified community-based health professionals specialising in audiology services, their uptake remains low (about 15%–20%). This paper presents an investigation of the possible reasons why older people in Italy resist adopting a hearing aid. We used the literature to identify factors influencing people with hearing loss's decision-making, and drew on the theory of reasoned action to create an explanatory model. To test our hypotheses, we applied a cross-sectional design. We developed a questionnaire including 13 items related to adopting a hearing aid. Health professionals identified 400 persons aged 60–90 who were candidates for a free hearing aid. Those willing to participate were sent a copy of the questionnaire and telephoned between August and September 2009; a total of 243 responded (response rate of 60.8%). Linear regression analysis highlighted that a person's intention to adopt a hearing aid was positively related to their attitude towards its adoption, but negatively linked to their perceived subjective norms. It was found that trust in the health professional does not moderate the relationship between a person's attitude and their intention to adopt a hearing aid, but trust mitigates the relationship between a person's perceived subjective norms and their intentions. These findings underline the importance of the potential role that the healthcare professional could play in reducing the uncertainty created by external social pressures. For this purpose, stronger collaboration between the various health professionals involved in hearing aid provision, from diagnosis to fitting, is recommended.

Factors that influence intent to adopt a hearing aid among older people in Italy

COBELLI, Nicola;CASSIA, FABIO;UGOLINI, Marta Maria
2014-01-01

Abstract

Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent health impairments associated with ageing in developed countries, and it can result in social, emotional and communication dysfunction. Hearing loss in Italy is increasing, yet, despite the availability of free hearing aids and access to qualified community-based health professionals specialising in audiology services, their uptake remains low (about 15%–20%). This paper presents an investigation of the possible reasons why older people in Italy resist adopting a hearing aid. We used the literature to identify factors influencing people with hearing loss's decision-making, and drew on the theory of reasoned action to create an explanatory model. To test our hypotheses, we applied a cross-sectional design. We developed a questionnaire including 13 items related to adopting a hearing aid. Health professionals identified 400 persons aged 60–90 who were candidates for a free hearing aid. Those willing to participate were sent a copy of the questionnaire and telephoned between August and September 2009; a total of 243 responded (response rate of 60.8%). Linear regression analysis highlighted that a person's intention to adopt a hearing aid was positively related to their attitude towards its adoption, but negatively linked to their perceived subjective norms. It was found that trust in the health professional does not moderate the relationship between a person's attitude and their intention to adopt a hearing aid, but trust mitigates the relationship between a person's perceived subjective norms and their intentions. These findings underline the importance of the potential role that the healthcare professional could play in reducing the uncertainty created by external social pressures. For this purpose, stronger collaboration between the various health professionals involved in hearing aid provision, from diagnosis to fitting, is recommended.
hearing aidoption; hearing rehabilitation; older people; behavioural intention; theory; theory of reasoned action; trust
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/853967
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