Older adults (>60 or equal to, in years), non-hearing aid users seeking assessment.
91 dyads interviewed separately at baseline, 87 at 3 months and 84 at 12 months
Describe experience of HL, onset, decision to seek help, effect on communication, opinion of HAs, how "society" views peope with HL, At FUP, reasons for getting / not getting and wearing / not wearing a HA, changes in communication and activities.
-Perceived stigma influenced decision making processes, e.g. acceptance of HL, whether to be tested / seek treatment, the type of aid selected, when and where the HAs are worn.
Analysis revealed that stigma was related to 3 interrelated experiences:
1) Altered self-perceptions - ie. that of physical /mental deterioration/ deficiency
2) Ageism - statement of ageing, weakness, labelling as an older person.
-Vanity - cosmetics of HAs
-The stigma of HL and HAs is often reinforced by:
*Hearing professionals- "youll have to grow your hair longer"
*Partners - negative perception of HAs "I think HAs are just horriby ugly"
*Marketing/Media - "your HA will be invisible to others"