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Attitudes toward individual hearing aids: user evaluation on an audiology service accredited by the Unified Health System

Grant number: 07/01125-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2007
Effective date (End): December 31, 2007
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal researcher:Deborah Viviane Ferrari
Grantee:Bárbara Guimarães Bastos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Bauru , SP, Brazil


Introduction: Hearing loss and hearing aids are often perceived negatively. Such stigma in great part leads to the denial of a hearing loss and consequently reluctance to look for treatment. Studies also suggest that hearing impaired individuals believe that hearing aids will make them look older and/or incompetent, this being called the "hearing aid effect". The hearing aid effect leads to rejection of its use and lack of adherence to treatment. Due to the impact that such psycho-social factors have on the outcomes of an auditory rehabilitation program it is extremely important to focus on them, specially when subsidized programs are considered. Aim: to evaluate the attitudes of hearing aid candidates, new and experienced users on what relates to hearing aid use. Methods: 90 individuals with sensorineural bilateral hearing loss of different degrees, hearing aid candidates, new or experienced users will participate in this study. They will be asked to answer the Revised Attitudes Toward Hearing Loss Questionnaire - R-ALHQ (Cienkowski and Saunders, 2000). The correlation between questionnaire scores and demographic, audiological and rehabilitation data will be carried out. Questionnaire's scores will also be compared to the R-ALHQ norms.

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