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Experienced hearing aid users’ perspectives of assessment and communication within audiology: a qualitative study using digital methods

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journal contribution
posted on 25.11.2021, 15:20 by Bhavisha J. Parmar, Kinjal Mehta, Deborah A. Vickers, Jennifer K. Bizley

To explore experienced hearing aid users’ perspectives of audiological assessments and the patient–audiologist communication dynamic during clinical interactions.

A qualitative study was implemented incorporating both an online focus group and online semi-structured interviews. Sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Iterative-inductive thematic analysis was carried out to identify themes related to assessment and communication within audiology practice.

Seven experienced hearing aid users took part in an online focus group and 14 participated in online semi-structured interviews (age range: 22 − 86 years; 9 males, 11 females).

Themes related to assessment included the unaided and aided testing procedure and relating tests to real world hearing difficulties. Themes related to communication included the importance of deaf aware communication strategies, explanation of test results and patient centred care in audiology.

To ensure hearing aid services meet the needs of the service users, we should explore user perspectives and proactively adapt service delivery. This approach should be ongoing, in response to advances in hearing aid technology. Within audiology, experienced hearing aid users’ value (1) comprehensive, relatable hearing assessment, (2) deaf aware patient–audiologist communication, (3) accessible services and (4) a personalised approach to recommend suitable technology and address patient specific aspects of hearing loss.

Funding

This work is supported by the NIHR UCLH BRC Deafness and Hearing Problems theme (B.P PhD studentship). D.A.V was funded by an MRC Senior Fellowship in Hearing [MR/S002537/1] and NIHR programme grant for applied research [201608]. This research was funded, in whole or in part, by Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, [to JKB; Grant 098418/Z/12/Z].

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