Hearing loss is a common health problem and affects social life. We studied how adults' use of hearing aids was influenced by socio-demographic and audiological characteristics, use of coping strategies, and perceived functional disability.
162 adult patients (82 men) who had previously used hearing aids and were referred to St. Olavs University Hospital (Trondheim, Norway) for a renewed assessment and prescription, were consecutively included in the study. Questionnaires were used to capture their experience with using hearing aids and the negative consequences of hearing loss, as well as use of specific coping strategies and the presence of tinnitus. Relations between reported use and explanatory variables were assessed by using logistic regression analyses.
Advanced hearing loss increased the probability of using aids more frequently, while non-persistent tinnitus and a medium long experience with using hearing aids (7?-?17 years) reduced the probability. Maladaptive behaviour interferring with effective communication reduced the daily use. Use of verbal and nonverbal communication strategies, and degree of perceived functional disability did not influence the use of hearing aids.
A low degree of hearing loss, occasional tinnitus, a medium long experience in the use of hearing aids, and frequent use of dysfunctional communication strategies were associated with little use of the aids.