Study Examines Stages of Change After Hearing Screenings
Fri Dec 18, 2015 01:01 PMBy Amanda Farah Cox
The personal motivations of people with hearing loss are important to the Ida Institute. We recommend the use of our Circle tool help hearing care professionals track the progress of their clients as they go through various stages of change on their hearing loss journey. Shifts from one stage to another are momentous and can take a great deal of time. Even evidence of a hearing loss may not be enough to help a person move from one stage to another. This was seen in a study conducted in Sweden in 2012-2013, “Stages of Change in Adults Who Have Failed an Online Hearing Screening,” and published earlier this year in Ear & Hearing. The study was conducted by Ida collaborator Ariane Laplante-Lévesque and her colleagues K. Jonas Brännström, Elisabeth Ingo, Gerhard Andersson, and Thomas Lunner. It followed 224 adults who failed an online hearing screening test measuring speech-in-noise recognition, and then asked a series of follow-up questions. They used the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment to measure stages of change. According the to study, they investigated the stages of change after finding out if a person had failed a test because, “The stages-of-change model could help identify the profiles and needs of people who have failed a hearing screening and help tailor an intervention to promote help-seeking and rehabilitation in this population.” What they did find is that those who had a higher self-reported hearing loss (regardless of the magnitude of their measured hearing loss) were those who were most driven to action. They state that it was anticipated that those who were in a later stage of change would also have a worse self-reported hearing loss. The study concludes that failing a hearing test isn’t itself enough of a motivator for patients to take action on their hearing loss. In the Swedish study, only 3% of participants were moved to action. “The fact that very few participants in the present study were in the action stage (approximately 3% of the sample) signals that screening alone is unlikely to be enough to improve help-seeking rates,” reads the study. “This does not mean that hearing screening is not worthwhile: further intervention with people who fail a hearing screening could attempt to promote help-seeking. When considering the value of hearing screening, one should remember that screening tests can also raise awareness of hearing in the general public.” One possible suggestion made in the study to encourage persons with hearing loss to seek help is the use of more personal interventions such as motivational interviewing. As the Ida Motivation tools are intended to help persons with hearing loss take action, we are pleased to see such a recommendation.