Attitudes and Barriers Affecting Hearing Aid Use in Hispanics Living in the U.S. Borderland Region

Loren Renee Sotelo, University of Texas at El Paso


Hearing loss can affect a person’s overall quality of life, and has been linked to depression and dementia in older adults (Brewster, Ciarleglio, Brown, Chen, Kim, Roose, Golub & Rutherford, 2018; Ciorba, Bianchini, Pelucchi, & Pastore, 2012). In the largest study to date of hearing loss among Hispanic adults residing in the U.S., researchers found that nearly 1 in 7 has hearing loss, which is close to the overall national average (National Institutes of Health, 2015). Currently, hearing aids are the primary/most effective treatment for an age-related hearing loss; Unfortunately, the adult uptake rates are low (Chien & Lin, 2012; Gates, Cooper, Kannel, & Miller, 1990; Lee, Carlson, Lee, Ray, & Markides, 1991). The prevalence of hearing aid use among Hispanics is even lower, and has been estimated to range from 2% to 11% in Mexican Americans (Lee et. al., 1991). However, factors that may contribute to low hearing aid use in Hispanics remain unclear. Thus, we examined the incidence of hearing loss and the attitudes and/or barriers towards hearing aid use among Hispanic adults living in the Borderland region.A total of 181 Hispanic adults, ages 42–93, from the Paso Del Norte (El Paso, Texas) region of the U.S. participated in this study. Participants completed the Hearing Handicap Inventory Screening Questionnaire for Adults (HHIA) and a hearing aid attitudes survey, which consisted of questions related to hearing loss and hearing aids, as well as, questions regarding general demographic information. Both surveys were administered in paper and pencil format. Last, participants’ hearing thresholds were screened at 25 dB HL at 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz (ASHA, 2018). Results indicated that 63.8% of participants indicated that they would use hearing aids. Logistic regression analysis indicated participants’ self-reported hearing handicap was the best predictor (p < .05) of an individual’s willingness to use hearing aids. Perception of not needing hearing aids was the most commonly cited reason for the nonuse of hearing aids.

Subject Area

Speech therapy

Recommended Citation

Sotelo, Loren Renee, "Attitudes and Barriers Affecting Hearing Aid Use in Hispanics Living in the U.S. Borderland Region" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13881090.