Successful Hearing Aid Use in Adults: How theory can help us understand and change behaviour

There is nothing so practical as a good theory” is an oft-used saying: this talk aims to demonstrate its validity. We all have theories that guide our thinking and work; for many of us these are implicit and we don’t recognise them as such. Making theory explicit allows us to summarise what we know, guide our thinking about problems and provide a method for designing interventions. If interventions are informed by theory, our evaluations can do more than establish whether or not interventions are effective; they help us understand why they are (or are not) effective and why they vary over context e.g. are effective for one group of people but not others. This lays the basis for designing more effective interventions, for example, to support those with hearing loss to

  1. Adopt hearing aids,
  2. Adapt and include hearing aids in their everyday lives and
  3. Maintain their use.

This talk will present a model of behaviour (COM-B) that has been widely used to design interventions and its elaboration into the Theoretical Domains Framework. It will show how these can be used as the foundation for helping people to engage with wearing aids to improve hearing.

Learning objectives

  1. Describe what a theory is and the ways in which theory is useful
  2. Outline how theory is used to understand why behaviours do or do not happen
  3. Describe how theory can be applied to designing interventions to support behaviour change.