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The Stigma of Wearing Hearing Aids in an Adolescent Aboriginal Population

Strange, A, Johnson, A, Ryan, B-J and Yonovitz, A (2008). The Stigma of Wearing Hearing Aids in an Adolescent Aboriginal Population. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology,30(1):19-37.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title The Stigma of Wearing Hearing Aids in an Adolescent Aboriginal Population
Author Strange, A
Johnson, A
Ryan, B-J
Yonovitz, A
Journal Name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology
Publication Date 2008
Volume Number 30
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1443-4873   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-49149094532
Start Page 19
End Page 37
Total Pages 19
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd.
Field of Research 1103 - Clinical Sciences
1117 - Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The occurrence of otitis media (OM) and associated conductive hearing loss in rural and remote Aboriginal communities is extraordinarily high. Despite the increasing number of people experiencing difficulties with hearing, hearing aids are not being used to the extent that they should be given the magnitude of the hearing problem. This study explored whether a ‘Hearing Aid Effect’ (HAE) (negative stigma attached to the presence of a hearing aid) is a basis for the lack of amplification use. A sample of Northern Territory Indigenous adolescents boarding at high schools in Alice Springs participated and were asked to judge, using a purpose-designed attitude scale, 12 photo - graphs of male and female peers wearing a behind the ear hearing aid, or a bone conductor hearing aid or wearing no hearing aids. The results indicated that the more visible the hearing aid, the more negatively the adolescents viewed the individual. There was also a trend towards a response bias as a function of the gender of the hearing-aid user. Interestingly, it was found that a brief intervention explaining the benefits of hearing aids provided some desensitisation to the bias of the HAE indicated by reduced stigma in participants.
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Created: Fri, 08 May 2009, 11:20:44 CST by Sarena Wegener