Factors that influence the use of assistance technologies by older adults who have a hearing loss

Int J Audiol. 2006 Apr;45(4):252-9. doi: 10.1080/14992020500258586.


The objective of this study was to describe and better understand the factors that influence the use of assistance technologies by older adults who have a hearing loss. We were interested in adopting a methodological approach that would provide an in-depth account of individual experiences related to the use of these technologies. A qualitative research design was therefore selected. Audio-recorded interviews were conducted with ten individuals who were 65 years of age or older and were current successful assistance technology users. Thematic analysis was used to draw meaning from the interview transcripts. The results suggest that successful use of these assistance technologies involves the recognition of hearing difficulties, an awareness that technological solutions exist, consultation for and acquisition of devices, and adapting to device use and modified behaviour. These four landmarks seem to be crucial stages when people either move toward successful assistance technology use or are discouraged from assistance technology use. Based on these results, a representative model of assistance technology awareness, acquisition and utilization is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hearing Aids / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hearing Loss / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments / psychology*
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments / rehabilitation
  • Presbycusis / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires