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Trends Amplif. 2010 Sep;14(3):127-54. doi: 10.1177/1084713810385712.

Factors influencing help seeking, hearing aid uptake, hearing aid use and satisfaction with hearing aids: a review of the literature.

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Oticon Research Centre, Eriksholm, Snekkersten, Denmark.



This descriptive summary of the literature provides an overview of the available studies (published between January 1980 and January 2009) on correlates of help-seeking behavior for hearing loss, hearing-aid uptake, hearing-aid use, and satisfaction with the device.


Publications were identified by structured searches in Pubmed and Cinahl and by inspecting the reference lists of relevant articles. The articles covered different stages that a person with hearing impairment may go through: prior to hearing aid fitting, the period covering the fitting and the period post hearing aid fitting. Inclusion of articles occurred according to strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data were extracted by two independent researchers. Thirty-nine papers were included that identified 31 factors examined in relation to the four outcome measures. These covered personal factors (e.g., source of motivation, expectation, attitude), demographic factors (e.g., age, gender) and external factors (e.g., cost, counseling). Only two studies covered the actual fitting process. There was only one factor positively affecting all four outcome variables. This was self-reported hearing disability. The vast majority of studies showed no relationship of age and gender with any of the outcome domains.


Whereas research of the last 28 years yielded valuable information regarding relevant and irrelevant factors in hearing aid health care, there are still many relevant issues that have never been investigated in controlled studies. These are discussed.

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