Determinants of Department of Veterans Affairs Hearing Aid Brand Dispensing by Individual Audiologists

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Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) audiologists were surveyed regarding their perceptions and evaluations of hearing aid (HA) brands on seven factors previously published in peer-reviewed research as important to the HA brand preference decision of audiologists. One of the seven factors formed a distinct dimension of brand differentiation based on Contract Pricing (dimension 1). Brand perceptions for the other six factors were highly correlated with one another; this dimension of correlated perceptions was labeled Propensity to Dispense Based on a Gestalt Percept (dimension 2). That is, a direct relation exists between the collective perception of HA brand and its likelihood of being dispensed. These two dimensions accounted for 93.1% of the variance in the perceived differences among the HA brands surveyed. Joint-space mapping was used to model the effect of altering perceptions on VA HA brand dispensing. Results indicate that few VA audiologists (7.7%) dispense HA brands in majority association with contract pricing. Instead, the vast majority (77%) form brand preferences in majority association with their individualized perceptions.


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