A literature review of the barriers to hearing aid use in the adult population
SUMMARY Despite hearing aids being provided by the NHS, 20-25% of people identified as needing them do not use them regularly (1), this results in a negative impact on the individual, carers and families (2) and the inefficient use of resources. It is approximated that £2million annually is wasted, using figures from AQP and the current UK uptake, with a potential additional significant increase when considering implementation of adult hearing screening. Many barriers that contribute to adults not using hearing aids have been proposed, but these have not been explored fully.
The aim of this study was to review the literature and synthesise the evidence about the potential psychosocial barriers to successful hearing aid use in the adult population.
Methods: Qualitative and quantitative literature were searched systematically and reviewed using a narrative approach, allowing a diverse range of characteristics to be explored and drawn together through thematic synthesis.
Results: We identified psychosocial barriers in the form of notable predictors of non-use which were distinct from the reasons given by individuals for non-use after hearing aid trials.
Discussion: The impact of our findings is discussed in relation to clinical practice and future research directions. We also discuss the implications of our findings in relation to how non-use is measured and defined. By building on the current evidence for barriers to successful rehabilitation, developed through continuing research, the aim is for Audiology services to successfully provide the right intervention tailored to the individual.