Factors influencing rehabilitation decisions of adults with acquired hearing impairment

Int J Audiol. 2010 Jul;49(7):497-507. doi: 10.3109/14992021003645902.


Several rehabilitation interventions yielding comparable outcomes are available to adults with acquired hearing impairment. However, the reasons why people choose particular interventions and not others have not been systematically investigated. This study explored the factors influencing the rehabilitation decisions of adults with acquired hearing impairment. Four options (hearing aids, group communication program, individual communication program, and no intervention) were discussed using shared decision making with 153 adults with acquired hearing impairment who had not previously received hearing rehabilitation. A selected sub-sample of 22 participants described the factors that influenced their decision during a semi-structured interview. Using qualitative content analysis, seven categories of factors influencing rehabilitation decisions were identified: (1) convenience; (2) expected adherence and outcomes; (3) financial costs; (4) hearing disability; (5) nature of intervention; (6) other people's experiences, recommendations, and support; and (7) preventive and interim solution. All categories of factors were a positive influence for a particular intervention for some participants and a negative influence for the same intervention for other participants. The results support a client-centred approach to decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Communication
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Hearing Aids / economics
  • Hearing Loss / economics
  • Hearing Loss / psychology*
  • Hearing Loss / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome