J Am Acad Audiol 2015; 26(03): 247-259
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.26.3.5
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2015) American Academy of Audiology

Comparisons of Client and Clinician Views of the Importance of Factors in Client-Clinician Interaction in Hearing Aid Purchase Decisions

Laya Poost-Foroosh
Mary Beth Jennings
Margaret F. Cheesman
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
06 August 2020 (online)

Background: Despite clinical recognition of the adverse effects of acquired hearing loss, only a small proportion of adults who could benefit use hearing aids. Hearing aid adoption has been studied in relationship to client-related and hearing aid technology–related factors. The influence of the client-clinician interaction in the decision to purchase hearing aids has not been explored in any depth.

Purpose: Importance ratings of a sample of adults having a recent hearing aid recommendation (clients) and hearing healthcare professionals (clinicians) from across Canada were compared on factors in client-clinician interactions that influence hearing aid purchase decisions.

Research Design: A cross-sectional approach was used to obtain online and paper-based concept ratings.

Data Collection and Analysis: Participants were 43 adults (age range, 45–85 yr) who had received a first hearing aid recommendation in the 3 mo before participation. A total of 54 audiologists and 20 hearing instrument practitioners from a variety of clinical settings who prescribed or dispensed hearing aids completed the concept-rating task. The task consisted of 122 items that had been generated via concept mapping in a previous study and which resulted in the identification of eight concepts that may influence hearing aid purchase decisions. Participants rated “the importance of each of the statements in a person’s decision to purchase a hearing aid” on a 5-point Likert scale, from 1 = minimally important to 5 = extremely important. For the initial data analysis, the ratings for each of the items included in each concept were averaged for each participant to provide an estimate of the overall importance rating of each concept. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to compare the mean importance ratings of the clients to the clinicians. Ratings of individual statements were also compared in order to investigate the directionality of the importance ratings within concepts.

Results: There was a significant difference in the mean ratings for clients and clinicians for the concepts understanding and meeting client needs, conveying device information by clinician, supporting choices and shared decision making, and factors in client readiness. Three concepts—understanding and meeting client needs, conveying device information by clinician, and supporting choices and shared decision making—were rated as more important by clients than by clinicians. One concept (ie, factors in client readiness) was rated as more important by clinicians than by clients.

Conclusions: The concepts rated as most important by clients and clinicians are consistent with components of several existing models of client-centered and patient-centered care. These concepts reflect the clients’ perception of the importance of their involvement in the decision-making process. A preliminary model of client-centered care within the hearing aid uptake process and implications for clinical audiology are described.