“Sufficient” Hearing, Ugly Looks, and Something for Elderly: Understanding the Resistance Towards Hearing Aids

Nanna Greir Ceccardi

Student thesis: Master thesis


Noticing that 6 out of 10 hearing impaired Danes avoid getting treatment, this thesis seeks to clarify the underlying problem of the given behavior, and suggests a number of initiatives, which can positively contribute to the existing resistance towards hearing aids. Taking an explorative approach, the thesis provides the groundwork and clarifies the directions for future research.
While the problem is well known in the hearing aid industry as well as in the academic fields, the thesis argues that the reasons for the continued problem of non-adoption of hearing aids, is a lack of understanding for the underlying mechanisms, which leads to inadequate recommendations for the industry and public healthcare system.
Based on a total of 23 interviews, with hearing impaired as well as experts from various fields, the thesis seeks to identify the underlying problem leading to the resistance towards the acquisition of hearing aids. Taking its offset in several interviews and existing literature from related fields, the thesis suggests a system- model, arguing how a mismatch between personal narratives and the perceived meaning of hearing aids is causing the resistance. It further acknowledges the influence of possessions, and available discourses as well as characteristics of current hearing aid users and an existing stigma. Taking its offset in the model, the thesis further suggests a number of initiatives within the fields of Design, Media, Opinion leaders and Collaborations with the fashion/design industry, which are argued to positively influence the perceived meaning of hearing aids and potentially eliminate the current status of hearing aids as stigma symbol.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages159
SupervisorsTore Kristensen