New Research Shows Support for Ida Telecare
New research conducted at the National Institute for Health Research Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre in the United Kingdom shows support for using Ida’s Why Improve My Hearing? Telecare tool to help new patients prepare for their appointments. Preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial conducted by David Maidment, Ph.D., and his team found that, when completed before the first appointment, the tool improved patient’s readiness to take action to manage their hearing loss.
Both patients and audiologists reported that the tool better prepared patients for their first appointment, enhanced person-centeredness, and had the potential to improve outcomes. The study suggests that Why Improve My Hearing? could be integrated into the hearing rehabilitation process to facilitate person-centered strategies to benefit people with hearing loss.
All patient participants in the trial received standard hearing care within the publicly-funded National Health Service (NHS), with the test group completing Why Improve My Hearing? online before attending their first hearing appointment. Patients in both the control (standard care only) and test (standard care plus tool) groups completed the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) questionnaire, to determine their knowledge, skills, and confidence for self-management of their general health. The PAM was completed both before and after the first hearing appointment. While PAM scores for the control group showed no change after the first appointment, the group that completed Why Improve My Hearing? showed a significant improvement in their activation scores. This suggests that Why Improve My Hearing? improved patients’ readiness to self-manage their health.
In addition, preliminary findings from semi-structured interviews showed that audiologists participating in the study said the tool improved the flow and efficiency of the appointment, improved person-centeredness, and helped patients to articulate their experiences. One audiologist commented, “When…I ask them about the scenarios that they are struggling in...sometimes they just go blank. But with this Tool…[the patients] come pre-set with the scenarios…and they can actually say everything that they want to say.”
The study also found that Why Improve My Hearing? has the potential to promote self-reflection and support patients who may not accept the severity of their hearing loss, with one patient reporting, “My perception [was] “I’ve not got a hearing problem.”...[the tool] was very helpful in making me analyse the different situations that would probably affect me.”
The study was funded as part of the Ida Research Grant. Further data collection 10-12 weeks post-hearing aid fitting will be conducted for the next phase of the study to help to determine the longer-term implications of using Why Improve My Hearing?