Can the time of day and other factors affect hearing aid adoption?
You’ve heard the warning: Don’t go to the grocery store hungry, because you might end up with a cart full of splurged food purchases. (I’ve been there!) But, can this logic — or scenario — apply to other aspects of our lives? What about hearing aids?
If a patient comes in to see us closer to lunch, or the end of the day, are they less likely to pursue hearing aids due to hunger or being tired? Or, are they more motivated first thing in the morning?
Interestingly enough, factors like time of day, sleep, hunger, satiation, etc. have been studied with the purpose of investigating how these scenarios impact our decisions and behaviors — and hearing aids are no exception. When are we more likely to take a risk or play it safe? Decide to go for hearing aids or just “wait” a little while longer?
In a retrospective study reviewing the initial appointments of more than 24,000 first-time patients attending their very first appointments (with no previous hearing aid experience), there were two points of time during the day in which the hearing aid adoption rates were significantly lower (i.e., patients were less likely to pursue). These times of day were noon and 4:00 p.m. — smack in the middle of the day (right before lunch) and at the end of the day when we’re all ready to go home.
Now, that’s not to say all patients will experience and react the same way. Plus, there are other external factors that may impact our patient’s choice to pursue — or delay — their hearing aid purchase, including us — the hearing care providers. We are only human, and we may also inadvertently pursue or sway our patients based on our own hunger, attitude or patient schedule that day.
What we do know here at Phonak is that our patients are the most successful in their decision to purchase hearing aids when they are accompanied by a loved one or communication partner, as demonstrated when using a Family-centered Care approach.
Regardless of the time of day, the patient and their family members, it is important for HCPs to remember that many factors may be influencing the actions and behaviors of our patients sitting across from us. It is important that we remember how we impact our patients’ decisions as well as ensure we are offering them the best opportunity to make a decision that’s right for them.