Promotion of Geriatric Hearing Health in the Primary Care Setting
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHearing loss is a common problem that is affecting the quality of life of approximately one in three people ages 65 and older (“Hearing Loss and Older Adults,” 2017). Primary care physicians (PCPs) are typically the first medical professionals to interact with patients that may have hearing difficulties (Johnson et al., 2008). Therefore, PCPs need to have the knowledge and resources to screen hearing and make necessary referrals. Untreated hearing loss in the geriatric population can easily result in a communication breakdown during patient-provider interactions. The aims of this project were to identify providers’ perspectives of self-management of hearing loss from two behaviors: 1.) provider behavior; 2.) patient behavior from the provider’s point of view. A total of 10 physicians completed structured interviews that were transcribed and coded using the COM-B model. Initial analysis of the structured interviews resulted in 129 capability, 140 opportunity and 102 motivation codes. Based on the number of codes found, it is clear that there is a dynamic interaction in hearing health care in the geriatric population that is influenced by various contributing factors and resources. This study evaluated the patient-provider encounter and identified common facilitators and barriers at the level of policy, insurance, state resources, and social and cultural factors and linked them to patients’ and the providers’ behavior to demonstrate how all of these factors can have an impact on hearing health care. The findings from this study provide the foundation for the development of a training for PCPs to increase their awareness of hearing loss among the geriatric population and encourage them to screen hearing at yearly medical visits. Developing a hearing screening protocol in the primary care setting can promote a better patient-provider communication and positively improve the quality of life in patients living with hearing loss.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences