What factors are associated with autonomous and controlled motivation for hearing help-seekers?

Jason Ridgway, Louise Hickson, Christopher Lind

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Hearing impairment is prevalent in older adults. Motivation is important in people's choice to seek help for their hearing and whether to adopt or not adopt hearing AIDS. Purpose: To investigate associations between sociodemographic and audiometric characteristics and autonomous and controlled motivation among a sample of hearing help-seekers. Research Design: A quantitative approach was taken for this cross-sectional cohort study. Study Sample: A total of 253 adult first-time hearing help-seekers were recruited to the study. Data Collection and Analysis: Participants provided sociodemographic information and completed questionnaires adapted from self-determination theory that measured autonomous motivation (motivation that originates from within the self and is aligned with personal values and beliefs) and controlled motivation (motivation that stems from external pressures such as rewards or punishment, or conflicted inner feelings such as guilt or shame). Results: Participants with higher autonomous motivation scores were younger, wanted hearing AIDS more, and reported greater hearing difficulty in everyday life than those with lower scores. Participants with higher controlled motivation scores were more often referred to the service by others and wanted hearing AIDS more than those with lower controlled motivation scores. Controlled motivation scores were not associated with perceptions of hearing difficulty in everyday life. Conclusion: Relationships among motivation and sociodemographic factors highlight the importance of characterizing autonomous and controlled motivation in first-time hearing help-seekers. Attention to personal characteristics in order to understand motivational processes involved in rehabilitation decisions such as hearing aid adoption may aid in consultations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)644-654
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


    • Autonomy
    • Autonomy support
    • Hearing aid adoption
    • Hearing AIDS
    • Hearing impairment
    • Motivation
    • Self-determination theory


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