Addressing Patients' Psychosocial Concerns Regarding Hearing Aids Within Audiology Appointments for Older Adults Purpose It has long been documented that patients may experience emotional reactions to a diagnosis of hearing impairment and recommendation of hearing aids. Because of this, patients may raise psychosocial concerns regarding their hearing rehabilitation during audiology appointments, particularly in relation to getting hearing aids. However, thus far there has ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 2014
Addressing Patients' Psychosocial Concerns Regarding Hearing Aids Within Audiology Appointments for Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katie Ekberg
    University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia
  • Caitlin Grenness
    HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Louise Hickson
    University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia
    HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Katie Ekberg: k.ekberg@uq.edu.au
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 2014
Addressing Patients' Psychosocial Concerns Regarding Hearing Aids Within Audiology Appointments for Older Adults
American Journal of Audiology, September 2014, Vol. 23, 337-350. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0011
History: Received February 20, 2014 , Revised June 10, 2014 , Accepted June 27, 2014
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2014, Vol. 23, 337-350. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0011
History: Received February 20, 2014; Revised June 10, 2014; Accepted June 27, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose It has long been documented that patients may experience emotional reactions to a diagnosis of hearing impairment and recommendation of hearing aids. Because of this, patients may raise psychosocial concerns regarding their hearing rehabilitation during audiology appointments, particularly in relation to getting hearing aids. However, thus far there has been little systematic research exploring how patients' concerns about hearing aids are addressed by audiologists within appointments.

Method This study used conversation analysis to examine a corpus of 63 video-recorded initial audiology appointments with older adults with hearing impairment.

Results The findings demonstrated that when patients expressed concerns regarding hearing aids, these concerns were typically psychosocial in nature and expressed in a way that carried a negative emotional stance. These types of turns thus invited an empathic response. However, patients' concerns were not typically addressed by audiologists during the appointment. As a consequence, patients persistently re-raised their concerns in subsequent turns, leading to expanded sequences of interaction during the management phase of the appointment.

Conclusions Older adults' psychosocial concerns regarding hearing aids may not always be sufficiently addressed within audiology appointments. A greater emphasis on emotionally focused communication within audiology could result in improved outcomes from hearing health care services.

Acknowledgment
This research was funded by the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, established under the Cooperative Research Centres Program, an Australian government initiative.
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