The lived experience of hearing loss - an individualised responsibility

Helen Pryce, Sian Smith, Georgie Burns O'Connell, Saira Hussain, Jean Straus, Rachel Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide a conceptual model to understand what typifies the lived experience of hearing loss.

DESIGN: A grounded theory informed study of adults with hearing loss ( n  = 46) who participated in individual interviews. The data were analysed in line with the constant comparative approach of grounded theory. A substantial patient and public engagement (PPIE) strategy underpinned decisions and processes throughout.

STUDY SAMPLE: Adults were recruited from age bands (16-29; 30-49;50-79 and 80 upwards) to provide different lived experience. We recruited individuals from across the UK including urban, sub-urban and rural communities and included a typical constituency of each location including black and minority ethnic participants. Our PPIE groups included adults often marginalised in research including South Asian community groups, adults in residential care and those with additional disabilities.

RESULTS: We identified the consistent features of the lived experience with hearing loss, as the individualised responsibility that hearing loss confers. These are an individual auditory lifeworld; social comparison and social support; individual and patient-centred care and individual agency and capability.

CONCLUSIONS: This work provides new insights for those practising audiology and highlights the importance of building social support systems through implementation of family and peer support approaches.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Early online date20 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of British Society of Audiology, International Society of Audiology, and Nordic Audiological Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.


  • Hearing
  • audiology
  • coping
  • lifeworld
  • qualitative


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