DO UK AUDIOLOGISTS FEEL ABLE TO ADDRESS THE HEARING, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF THEIR ADULT PATIENTS WITH HEARING LOSS

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this project was to investigate the provision of counselling in adult audiological rehabilitation and to highlight training barriers and needs.

DESIGN: A service evaluation in which respondents completed a survey in which they rated their knowledge, confidence and competence in addressing the hearing, social and emotional needs of their patients. They were also asked to define counselling.

SAMPLE: 64 UK practising audiologists in adult audiological rehabilitation, aged 20->60 years (84% females, 16% males), with a range of years in clinical practice.

RESULTS: Counselling definitions fell into three main categories: the audiologist as the doer, the audiologist as the facilitator, and the audiologist and patient as partners. Respondents reported feeling more able to counsel the hearing related needs of their patients, than emotional or social needs. There were significant positive statistical associations between counselling training completed and self-rated counselling abilities for managing emotional needs. Clinical experience was not associated with self-rated counselling. Lack of supervision and training were identified as some of the main barriers to providing emotional support. Almost all respondents reported a desire for further training in delivering emotional support, with the belief that this would improve services and patient outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: UK audiologists demonstrated person-centred thinking through their definitions of counselling. However, they reported significant barriers in being able to support the needs of adults with hearing loss. Training needs around emotional support in audiology counselling are not currently being met. It is important for clinical training programmes to address this gap by incorporating more counselling courses into their curricula.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2023

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