Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the social representation (SR) of
‘hearing aids’ in people with hearing loss (PHL) in India, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the
United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (US).
Design: The study used a cross-sectional survey design. The data collected by using a free
association task were analysed qualitatively (i.e., content analysis) and quantitatively (i.e., chi-square
analysis, similarities analysis, prototypical analysis).
Study Sample: 424 participants with hearing loss
Results: The most commonly reported categories across all countries were ‘beneficial’, ‘cost
and time’, and ‘appearance and design’. Approximately 50% of the associations reported were
negative. There were variations in terms of the categories that were predominant in the SR of
each country. ‘Others’ actions and attitude’ category was predominantly reported by PHL in
India. ‘Disturbance’ and ‘dissatisfaction’ of hearing aids and the ‘repairs and maintenance of
hearing aids’ categories were mainly reported from the ROK and the US, respectively.
Conclusions: The current results highlight the main aspects that PHL report spontaneously
when they think about hearing aids. The findings will help to further inform public health
campaigns and will contribute to developing culturally appropriate media materials regarding