Objective: The purpose of this review paper was to identify factors that influence older adults' decisions to seek help for hearing impairment and to adopt hearing aids.
Design: A literature search of abstracts within peer-reviewed journal articles published in English between 1990 and 2010 was conducted in online bibliographic databases using the keywords: hearing; impair* or loss; seek* or candidate* or applicant* or acquir*; and hearing aid* or help or advice.
Results: Twenty-two articles that were directly relevant to this topic were included in this review.
Conclusions: The evidence suggests that individuals are more likely to seek help for hearing impairment and/or adopt hearing aids if they: (1) have a moderate to severe hearing impairment and self-reported hearing-related activity limitations or participation restrictions; (2) are older; (3) perceive their hearing as poor; (4) consider there to be more benefits than barriers to amplification; and (5) perceive their significant other/s as supportive of hearing rehabilitation. A barrier to help-seeking for hearing impairment and hearing aid adoption appears to be general practitioners' management of age-related hearing impairment.