First Advisor

Doug Martin

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Hearing impaired -- Education -- Computer-assisted instruction, Older people -- Education -- Computer-assisted instruction, Hearing aids



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 71 p.)


A disabling condition that is common for many senior adults is hearing impairment. Studies have shown that a substantial number of people who could benefit from amplification choose not to use hearing aid. Often the reasons may be because they have unrealistic expectations of what hearing aids can do. These unrealistic expectations are not necessarily from personal use, but the senior adult is often influenced by the media, acquaintances, or advertisements. The purpose of this study was to determine if a computer program developed with information about hearing aids and their use could be used to influence the expectations senior adults have regarding hearing aids. Thirty - five subjects were involved in this study. Thirty - two subjects were volunteers from Portland First Nazarene Church, two were from a local bank and one was a retired health professional. Seventeen of the subjects were selected to come to Portland State University to view a computer program about hearing aids. The other 18 were part of the control group and did not view the computer program. Ten days following the viewing a questionnaire was mailed to all thirty - five participants. The questions on the questionnaire related the expectations senior adults had about hearing aids in the following areas: cosmetic, acoustics, cost and upkeep, communication benefits, attitudes, acoustics, and comfort. The results were tabulated and percentages calculated. The results of this study indicated that, in general, senior adults have unrealistic expectations in many areas. In some areas such as acoustics, comfort, and ease of use senior adults' expectations seemed to be influenced by the information in the computer program. The information obtained in this study would indicate that senior adults' expectations could be influenced by information they received from a computer program. In many areas, such as the cosmetics, communication benefits, cost and attitudes the information provided by the computer program needs to be further developed and expanded in order for it to influence the expectations of senior adults about hearing aids.


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