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This pilot study uses qualitative methods to learn about the psycho-social needs of people who seek help with hearing loss.
There has been some emphasis in health policy to reduce the number of appointments required between assessment of hearing loss and fitting of hearing aids. This may respond to audiological needs but may not address the psycho-social needs. This study piloted a phenomenological approach to identify the patient's perspective.
A phenomenological approach was taken to provide description of patient perspectives.
Six patients reported that help-seeking was primarily influenced by the need to appease social partners and to improve hearing performance. Hearing aids were not regarded as acceptable treatments.
Service providers need to consider the psycho-social consequences of hearing-aid issue alongside audiological needs.
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