Counseling during Real Ear Measurements: The Clients' PerspectiveFunding The research was funded by a Mitacs Accelerate grant with Audioscan as the industrial partner. Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility provided space and personnel for data collection. Expert Hearing (Ladner) provided space for data collection.
Background When dispensing hearing aids, audiologists must follow validated fitting and verification procedures to ensure that the hearing aids are properly fitted to the client's hearing. Real ear measurements (REMs) are best practice for verifying hearing aids. Prior literature regarding REMs has mainly focused on the clinicians' perspective.
Purpose This study investigated informational counseling throughout REMs by gathering perspectives of first-time hearing aid users regarding the content and format of counseling.
Research Design The study used an interpretive description approach with focus groups.
Study Sample There were 16 adult participants (4 males, 12 females) who were first-time hearing aid users and who all had memory of REMs occurring during their own hearing aid verification.
Intervention We investigated the addition of informational counseling during REM verification.
Data Collection and Analysis Four focus groups were conducted to elicit feedback on a demonstration of informational counseling during REM hearing aid verification. The data from the focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results Analysis revealed positive aspects, negative aspects, and suggested changes in relation to the verbal and visual information presented during the REM verification demonstration. These data fell into two broad categories: the interaction and transaction of informational counseling.
Conclusion Most clients were interested in learning more about REMs if the information was accessible. Results provide recommendations for clinical audiologists and REM system manufacturers to make the information presented during informational counseling more client-friendly and individualized for client-centered care. To continue exploring this new inquiry, further experimental research is required to determine if there is any added value of incorporating informational counseling during REMs.
This project was presented at the Canadian Academy of Audiology conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 2019.
Received: 29 May 2020
Accepted: 21 July 2020
15 February 2021 (online)
© 2021. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.
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