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Title: An exploratory study of older peoples' experiences of acquired hearing loss and hearing aid use
Author: House, Vicky
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 1476
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2003
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The provision of hearing aids is a central component in the rehabilitation of individuals who have acquired a hearing impairment, and costs the NHS a significant sum each year. However, there exist concerns that a large proportion of hearing aids are not used regularly. Given that acquired hearing impairment rises in prevalence in later life, and that research indicates that older people make less use of the hearing aids they are prescribed, it seems important to explore the factors limiting hearing aid use in older people. Previous researchers have examined a range of variables hypothesised to mediate the relationship between amount of hearing aid use and age. However, few have considered how values about the meaning and management of ageing might contextualise the experience of acquired hearing impairment in later life, and impact on hearing aid use. This study uses an interview format and qualitative analysis to explore the interplay between experiences of acquired hearing impairment, hearing aid use and ageing in a sample of older people. The main themes drawn from the data are 1) that hearing impairment is widely constructed as a problem of 'old age', and 2) that decisions about how to manage hearing problems are reflective of values about how to manage ageing and the threat of stigma. Amongst the recommendations made are that professionals should recognise the complexities of managing self- and social-identity for older peoplewith hearing impairments, and should move away from measuring 'successful' hearing management in terms of hours of hearing aid use.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available