Heselton, T., Bennett, R.J., Manchaiah, V. & Swanepoel, D.W.
American Journal of Audiology, 31(2), 284-298. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJA-21-00172
Publication year: 2022

Purpose: Online reviews have become increasingly common for consumers to share their experiences about products and to assist potential consumers with decision making. The current study was aimed to understand the hearing aid user experience from online consumer reviews using qualitative analysis.

Methods: The study used a qualitative thematic analysis to analyze open text responses from consumers leaving hearing aid reviews on the www.HearingTracker.com website. 1,378 online consumer hearing aid reviews (open-text responses) were extracted and analyzed.

Results: Three domains emerged within the data set, containing eleven themes and 136 sub-themes. Domain one (Clinical Processes) contained two themes: Hearing Assessment, and Hearing Aid Acquisition. Domain two (The Device) contained five themes: Function, Performance, Physical, Device Management, and Maintenance. Domain three (The Person) contained four themes: Satisfaction, Quality of Life, Personal Adjustment, and Knowledge. The themes gave an understanding that there were a contribution of factors that formed part of a consumer’s hearing aid user experience.

Conclusions: Hearing aid users described a range of positive, negative, and neutral descriptions online about their hearing aid user experience and gave advice to fellow hearing aid users helping clinicians improve their hearing aid fitting skills in practice. These findings have implications to future product development as well as service delivery model in terms of developing strategies for fostering patient-centered audiological practice.