A qualitative examination of user perceptions of user-driven and app-controlled hearing technologies

Gitte Keidser, Nicole Matthews, Elizabeth Convery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine how hearing aid candidates perceive user-driven and app-controlled hearing aids and the effect these concepts have on traditional hearing health care delivery.

Method: Eleven adults (3 women, 8 men), recruited among 60 participants who had completed a research study evaluating an app-controlled, self-fitting hearing aid for 12 weeks, participated in a semistructured interview. Participants were over 55 years of age and had varied experience with hearing aids and smartphones. A template analysis was applied to data.

Results: Five themes emerged from the interviews: (a) prerequisites to the successful implementation of user-driven and app-controlled technologies, (b) benefits and advantages of user-driven and app-controlled technologies, (c) barriers to the acceptance and use of user-driven and app-controlled technologies, (d) beliefs that age is a significant factor in how well people will adopt new technology, and (e) consequences that flow from the adoption of user-driven and app-controlled technologies. Specifically, suggested benefits of the technology included fostering empowerment and providing cheaper and more discrete options, while challenges included lack of technological self-efficacy among older adults. Training and support were emphasized as necessary for successful adaptation and were suggested to be a focus of audiologic services in the future.

Conclusion: User perceptions of user-driven and app-controlled hearing technologies challenge the audiologic profession to provide adequate support and training for use of the technology and manufacturers to make the technology more accessible to older people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1005
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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