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Intention to use hearing aids: a survey based on the theory of planned behavior

Authors Meister H, Grugel L, Meis M

Received 27 March 2014

Accepted for publication 27 May 2014

Published 17 September 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1265—1275


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Hartmut Meister,1 Linda Grugel,1 Markus Meis2

1Jean Uhrmacher Institute for Clinical ENT Research, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 2Hoerzentrum Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany

Objective: To determine the intention to use hearing aids (HAs) by applying the theory of planned behavior (TPB).
Design: The TPB is a widely used decision-making model based on three constructs hypothesized to influence the intention to perform a specific behavior; namely, “attitude toward the behavior”, “subjective norm”, and “behavioral control”. The survey was based on a TPB-specific questionnaire addressing factors relevant to HA provision.
Study sample: Data from 204 individuals reporting hearing problems were analyzed. Different subgroups were established according to the stage of their hearing help-seeking.
Results: The TPB models’ outcome depended on the subgroup. The intention of those participants who had recognized their hearing problems but had not yet consulted an ear, nose, and throat specialist was largely dominated by the “subjective norm” construct, whereas those who had already consulted an ear, nose, and throat specialist or had already tried out HAs were significantly influenced by all constructs. The intention of participants who already owned HAs was clearly less affected by the “subjective norm” construct but was largely dominated by their “attitude toward HAs”.
Conclusion: The intention to use HAs can be modeled on the basis of the constructs “attitude toward the behavior”, “subjective norm”, and “behavioral control”. Individual contribution of the constructs to the model depends on the patient’s stage of hearing help-seeking. The results speak well for counseling strategies that explicitly consider the individual trajectory of hearing help-seeking.

Keywords: hearing aid uptake, motivation, attitude, subjective norm, behavioral control

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