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Social representation of hearing aids: cross-cultural study in India, Iran, Portugal, and the United Kingdom

Authors Manchaiah V, Danermark B, Vinay, Ahmadi T, Tomé D, Krishna R, Germundsson P

Received 5 April 2015

Accepted for publication 19 May 2015

Published 6 October 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1601—1615

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S86108

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Vinaya Manchaiah,1 Berth Danermark,2 Vinay,3 Tayebeh Ahmadi,4 David Tomé,5 Rajalakshmi Krishna,6 Per Germundsson7

1Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA; 2Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; 3Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway; 4Department of Audiology, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 5Department of Audiology, School of Allied Health Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal; 6All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, University of Mysore, Mysore, India; 7The Department of Health and Welfare Studies, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden

Background: The current study was aimed at understanding the social representation of hearing aids in India, Iran, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. We also compared these results to explore the cross-cultural differences and similarities among these countries.
Methods: The study involved a cross-sectional design, and the data were collected from four different countries using the snowball sampling method. Data were analyzed using a content analysis to identify the most-similar categories of responses reported, a co-occurrences analysis to see which of these categories are reported commonly, and a chi-square analysis to study if there was any association between positive, neutral, and negative connotations among participants in different countries.
Results: The current study revealed four different social representations of hearing aids from India, Iran, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, and also a global index.
Conclusion: The study results provide very useful insights into how hearing aids are represented in the society. These findings may have important implications for public education and also for manufacturers from the viewpoint of designing and marketing hearing aids in different countries.

Keywords: hearing aids, hearing loss, social representation, cross-culture, attitudes, perception

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