Biopsychosocial correlates of hearing help-seeking, hearing aid uptake, and hearing aid use in general and clinical populations

Student thesis: Phd


Objectives: Hearing aid use in the United Kingdom is low, despite the negative consequences associated with untreated hearing impairment. Previous research shows inconsistent associations between biopsychosocial factors and different stages of hearing health-seeking. Inconsistent associations are likely due to studies modelling a limited number of correlates, thereby not controlling for potential confounding variables. The aim of the three studies is to identify biopsychosocial factors associated with hearing helpseeking, hearing aid uptake, and use that could be targeted in future interventions. Method: The first study (N= 18,730) is cross-sectional and examined how a wide range of biopsychosocial factors all contribute to hearing aid use in a large UK population using the Biobank data set. The second study (N= 2,845) is cross-sectional and examined how wide range of biopsychosocial factors all contribute to categories of hearing healthseeking in large English population using the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) data set. The third study is an analysis of psychological correlates of hearing aid use in a prospectively ascertained clinical sample of hearing aid users (N = 254). Results: Study one and two found that the most important predictor of hearing aid use and hearing health-seeking among those with a hearing loss is recognition of hearing difficulties. Study two revealed that different biopsychosocial factors are associated with different stages of hearing health-seeking. In addition, study one found that individuals from an ethnic minority background and those who are younger are less likely to use hearing aid. In the final study Hearing aid use at 12-months post-fitting is predicted by recovery selfefficacy and hearing aid use at 6-months post-fitting. Conclusions: Interventions to promote hearing aid use need to promote recognition of hearing loss and focus on those less likely to use a hearing aid such as those from ethnic minority backgrounds and those who are younger. Among those who have obtained a hearing aid, interventions need to focus on recovery self-efficacy.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorChristopher Arden Armitage (Supervisor), Kevin Munro (Supervisor) & Piers Dawes (Supervisor)


  • hearing aid use
  • behaviour change
  • uptake
  • hearing health-seeking
  • hearing help-seeking

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