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New research into hearing aid stigma

A researcher at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol wants to meet people diagnosed with impaired hearing but avoid wearing their aids. The Royal National Institute for the Deaf estimates nine million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss but only 1.4 million use aids. Psychology student, Claire Calvert wants to find out if there is a stigma attached to the look of hearing aids. She is also interested to know what the general public’s perception is.

Ms Calvert, from UWE’s Centre for Appearance Research, said: “The aim of my study is to try to understand why people diagnosed with hearing impairments do not wear their hearing aids regularly in relation to appearance and stigma-related concerns. It is hoped that the information will help in the development of methods of meeting the needs of users more effectively, and improve their quality of life. I am also interested in the general public’s perceptions of hearing aids and hearing aid users.”

If you would like to take part in this study or would like more information please contact Claire Calvert by e-mail: or the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE on: 0117 328 3967.