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Impact of patient attributes on the relationship between hearing handicap and readiness to pursue audiologic rehabilitation.

OBJECTIVE: This study explored whether select patient attributes were significant predictors of readiness to pursue hearing aids (HAs) and estimated the impacts of hearing aid self-efficacy (HASE) and emotional states, on the relationship between perceived hearing handicap and readiness to pursue HAs.

DESIGN & STUDY SAMPLE: Sixty-two adults with self-reported hearing difficulties and no previous experience with HAs self-reported their hearing handicap, HASE, personality, emotional states in varying contexts, and readiness to pursue HAs.

RESULTS: Individuals with greater hearing handicap and who had experienced hearing loss for a shorter duration were more ready to pursue HAs. Having higher HASE, more positive emotional states in "Social" situations, higher scores for the Agreeableness, and having lower Conscientiousness personality trait scores also independently predicted readiness. Neither HASE nor reported emotional states had a significant impact on the relationship between perceived hearing handicap and readiness to pursue HAs.

CONCLUSIONS: Certain patient characteristics independently motivate people towards or away from pursuing HAs. However, it remains unclear whether targeted modification of these attributes would directly facilitate behaviour change. Future research should further explore these questions to facilitate a more individualised audiologic rehabilitation.

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