Application of the Consumer Decision-Making Model to Hearing Aid Adoption in First-Time Users

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Since 1980, hearing aid adoption rates have remained essentially the same, increasing at a rate equal to the organic growth of the population. Researchers have used theoretical models from psychology and sociology to determine those factors or constructs that lead to the adoption of hearing aids by first-time impaired listeners entering the market. In this article, a theoretical model, the Consumer Decision-Making Model (CDM), premised on the neobehavioral approach that considers an individual's psychological and cognitive emphasis toward a product or service, is described. Three theoretical models (i.e., transtheoretical, social model of disability, Health Belief Model), and their relevant findings to the hearing aid market, are initially described. The CDM is then presented, along with supporting evidence of the model's various factors from the hearing aid literature. Future applications of the CDM to hearing health care also are discussed.

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