Medical practitioners' attitudes to hearing rehabilitation for older adults

Megan Gilliver*, Louise Hickson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Medical practitioners have the potential to play a significant role in older adults' help seeking behaviour in relation to hearing rehabilitation. The current study aimed to look at attitudinal factors that influence practitioners' decisions to discuss hearing difficulties with older patients and refer them for hearing rehabilitation. Design: A questionnaire based on constructs from the Health Belief Model was used to examine factors that may influence practitioners' referral decisions. Study Sample: One hundred and ten practitioners' attitudes to hearing rehabilitation were examined. Results: The results indicated that practitioners have a high level of awareness about their older patients' susceptibility to hearing loss, and a good understanding of the severity of the associated impacts on older adults' lives. Although practitioners acknowledged the theoretical benefits of hearing rehabilitation, many appear less certain about the potential for actual benefit for their older adults. Barriers to referral include negative perceptions about how older patients prioritise hearing, and patients' ability to afford and adapt to the use of hearing aids. Conclusions: Additional research and education targeted at these area may be beneficial for medical practitioners to increase referral behaviour and improve discussions about hearing rehabilitation with their older patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-856
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Volume50
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health belief model
  • Hearing aids
  • Hearing rehabilitation
  • Medical practitioners
  • Older adults
  • Self efficacy

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