Gabrielle (Gaby) Saunders

Research Area Manager

Social Hearing Science

Social Hearing Science is about generating insights that can be used to change hearing health behaviors for awareness, uptake, and use of hearing technologies. These can lead to social connectedness and engagement between people with hearing loss, their family and friends, and hearing care providers.

Although sometimes difficult to measure, hearing loss can lead to social disengagement and withdrawal, because the person with hearing loss struggles to connect with those around him/her. This results in low communication self-efficacy, low motivation, fatigue, and decreased well-being. While hearing technologies improve the incoming auditory signal, it is important to use psychosocial and behavior change approaches to address the psychological impacts of hearing loss.

Social Hearing Science research at Eriksholm Research Center is achieving this by:

  • Demonstrating the connections between social connectedness, quality of life, and engagement in hearing healthcare using novel measures, so that we can illustrate the importance of hearing rehabilitation for well-being and function.
  • Using behavior change techniques that promote awareness of hearing loss and lead to increased uptake and use of hearing technologies when a hearing loss is present so that people with hearing loss seek out and receive care and support sooner rather than later.
  • Improving interaction and rapport between hearing care providers (HCPs) and persons with hearing loss using person-centered care to ensure that HCPs are engaged in Oticon’s approach to rehabilitation and that people with hearing loss receive optimal auditory rehabilitation.

Our long-term goal is to make life easier for patients and their families using person-centered evidence-based approaches to auditory rehabilitation. Our vision is that we can provide evidence that consistent use of amplification in combination with person-centered care leads to increased social connectedness and increased quality of life.

If you wish to learn more about Social Hearing Science, please click on the video below.

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