A Swedish Advocate of Person-Centered Care
Sarah Granberg, Au.D., Ph.D. is a lecturer and researcher at Örebro University in Sweden. She is also a fervent advocate of person-centered care and uses Ida’s tools to teach new generations of audiologists how to apply a person-centered approach to hearing rehabilitation.
“I became acquainted with the Ida tools at a seminar organized by the Ida Institute a few years back. The encounter with the Ida Institute community was a ‘wow’ experience. Finally, I got to meet people who shared my view on the importance of the human aspects of hearing loss. To me, this should always be the natural point of departure for hearing care instead of focusing on the technical aspects,” she says.
Technology is only part of treating hearing loss
In addition to being an audiologist by profession, Sarah also has a personal experience with hearing loss which has attuned her to a person-centered approach to hearing care. “My father had severe hearing loss, so I have always known that technology is only part of treating hearing loss. What’s most important is learning how to manage hearing loss in daily life.
“No matter how sophisticated the technology is, it cannot restore your hearing completely. As a friend of mine once said, just because you get crutches doesn’t mean that you can climb a mountain again. Technology is important – but you must know how to use it in different situations. So helping people manage hearing loss in daily life is to me the essence of hearing rehabilitation.”
You can’t just ask the patient how motivated they are
Sarah is using Ida tools to promote person-centered care in Sweden through her academic activities and contact with clinics.
She uses the Ida Motivation Tools and the Living Well tool to teach students how to interact with patients. "When you don’t have any counseling experience, driving the first conversation with the patient can be very challenging. I mean, you can’t just ask the patient how motivated they are!
“Taking a patient’s history and trying to assess their needs is a hurdle for students. They are very happy to discover these tools because they help them structure their conversations with the patient. To my knowledge, there are no similar pedagogical tools out there.”
In order to train students in how to use the tools, Sarah has recorded a series of video reenactments together with a colleague to demonstrate how the tools can be used with patients. “These videos have been a valuable addition to the Ida tools,” she explains.
The students also get to test the tools in practice at the education unit at the Audiological Clinic, Örebro University Hospital in Örebro which collaborates with Örebro University to train audiology students. “It’s a very interesting process, where we receive feedback from the students who get to try out the tools in real life and discuss them when they are back in class,” says Sarah.
Sarah was recently approached by representatives of different hearing health clinics in Sweden to discuss implementing the Ida tools in other clinics across the country. “In Sweden, the person-centered approach to audiology is still new, but it is starting to pick up, and people are beginning to see just how important patient motivation is,” she says. “Many are still focusing only on the technology, but you have to look at the whole person – and this is what person-centered care does.”
About Sara Granberg
Sarah Granberg (1973), Au.D., Ph.D., is a lecturer and researcher at Örebro University and the Audiological Research Center, Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden. She specializes in audiological rehabilitation for adults as well as evidence-based practice and research methodology. Sarah has a particular interest in developing a person-centered approach to hearing care in Sweden.
Her areas of research include health and quality-of-life, severe dual-sensory loss among the elderly, hearing loss in working life and in the development of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in relation to hearing. Sarah is involved in several international collaborations and has contributed to a number of academic journals including the BMJ Journal, Disability & Rehabilitation, the International journal of Audiology, Ear and Hearing and the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. Source: Örebro University