Throughout the literature, one finds almost unanimous consensus over the major psychological and psychosocial deterrents for hearing impaired consumers' failure to seek help for their hearing and communication breakdowns. Consensus includes such behaviors as lack of awareness, denial, vanity, social stigma and skewed cost/benefit perceptions (Chartrand & Chartrand, 2004). Indeed, Ramsdell (1978) suggested some years ago that the most significant problems presented by unmitigated hearing loss were psychological, including depression and anxiety, defensiveness, distrust, and social paranoia. Van Hecke (1994) noted the need for development of better counseling methodologies to help hearing impaired individuals overcome negative emotional responses to hearing loss, while Herbst and Humphrey (1980) long ago noted the deleterious impact that hearing loss can have on quality of life for older adults who forego obtaining appropriate help.
Regarding social stigma and vanity, the hearing aid industry has gone to great lengths to overcome reasons why reluctant consumers have not been seeking help with hearing loss. Furthermore, cost/benefit issues have been addressed by numerous researchers (Sweetow, Bratt, Miller, & Henderson-Sabes, 2004; Peterson & Bell, 2004; Crandall, Kricos, & King, 1997). It is beyond the scope of this review to provide an in depth exposition of these and other psychosocial barriers to hearing care. However, these considerations are important for one to have a perspective of the factors for which consensus may not have yet developed, such as the negative impact on prospective consumers with hearing impairment who put off purchasing hearing aids because of someone else's hearing aid experience (Kochkin, 1999).