The hearing aid effect: Challenges for counseling

Ingrid M. Blood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Counseling is essential for hearing-impaired clients to gain insight into their disability and adjust to the unique challenges of living with a hearing disorder. The stigma associated with wearing hearing aids has been documented and labeled the "Hearing Aid Effect." This study examined 100 university students' preferences for increased speech understanding and amplification of sounds when compared to cosmetic variables (size and visibility of a hearing aid). Audio taped conversations were filtered to simulate a listening condition with a hearing loss. Eighty two of the participants reported that under adverse listening conditions they would consider wearing hearing aids. However, after hearing aids were fitted on participants, 25% preferred not to wear them. Subjects mentioned cosmetics and perceived stigma as the primary reasons for not wearing hearing aids. The need for counseling clients to deal with feelings and experiences of wearing hearing aids as well as become better communicators is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-62
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Rehabilitation


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