Article Shows Importance of Communication Partners in Hearing Aid Adoption

By Amanda Farah Cox

Communication partners are important players in a person with hearing loss’s journey. They have knowledge about their partner’s successes and difficulties, and are the support system the patient needs to follow through with rehabilitation. An article in the current issue of ENT & Audiology News supports that very idea.

The article, “The Role of Significant others in Hearing Aid Adoption,” identifies communication partners as key influencers in people with hearing loss taking action. It particularly focuses on adults aged 65 years and older, whose communication partners, according to the article, are more likely to see the benefit of treatment. The article also recognizes that communication partners are likely to feel isolated or lonely as a result of the patient’s hearing loss.

Article author Janet Ho-yee Ng, who works at Widex and currently studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, also cites her own systematic review from earlier this year in which she used the Transtheoretical Model to look at both audiological and non-audiological motivations behind hearing aid adoption. Her review found significant others to be a major influence in the Preparation Stage.

This is a belief long held by the Ida Institute. We have designed our Communication Partner tools to involve significant others (as well as other friends and family members) in audiology sessions, knowing that their support is crucial to finding lasting solutions for living well with hearing loss. Those solutions can be hearing aids, but also include communication strategies.

The article also addresses the reasons why people with hearing loss would choose not to adopt hearing aids. It cites a 2007 MarkeTrak study that identified uniqueness of hearing loss, self-perceived need, financial constraints, and stigma among the reasons.

We’re happy to see support for including communication partners in audiology sessions and rehabilitation. Visit the ENT & Audiology News website to find out where you can get a copy of the article.