The Ida Institute is pleased to announce the awardees of our 2020 Research Grant. The projects funded this year focus on the efficacy of Ida’s My Hearing Explained tool and measuring the person-centered care experience.
Because person-centered care is comprised of different interpersonal skills, it can be difficult to measure its effect. The project by Drs. Jessica Vitkovic and Caitlin Barr of Better Hearing Australia aims to develop an easy-to-use process that will track person-centered outcomes.
“We are excited to bring together our passion for person-centred approaches, evidence, and impact to this co-design project which places consumers at the center but includes and works with the needs of managers and clinicians in the development of the outcome dashboard,” says Vitkovic, the principal researcher.
Their project, The feasibility, usability and utility of developing an outcome ‘dashboard’ which routinely tracks person-centered care experiences alongside other success measures in a hearing rehabilitation organization, will measure and display a range of outcomes important to clients, clinicians, and managers to encourage the measurement of person-centered outcomes so that hearing care professionals and organizations have the information needed to improve person-centered practices.
“We believe that outcome measurement is perhaps the most important method to help guide and improve person-centered practices,” says Vitkovic. “Including all stakeholders in the development and testing ensures we measure what matters and in a way that is feasible and useful to all.”
The other two projects focus on Ida’s newest tool, My Hearing Explained, which was launched in November 2019 and quickly became one of our most popular tools. The projects are focused on different aspects of how the tool can be used to relay information and improve communication.
A research team from the University of Manchester, UK, is looking directly at to what extent the tool makes it easier for people with hearing loss to understand their hearing test results.
“In current practice, audiologists tend to focus on explaining the details of the hearing loss using the audiogram, but tend to spend less time discussing the consequences and implications of the hearing loss on daily life,” says principal researcher Gabrielle Saunders, who is working with co-investigator Kai Uus on the project Does the Ida tool ‘My Hearing Explained’ result in improved understanding of the consequences of hearing loss among older hearing impaired individuals seeking help for their hearing for the first time? “Using the My Hearing Explained tool will hopefully switch the focus to being more about consequences and implications, which will presumably be of more relevance to the client and will be better understood and remembered.
“In our study we will find out whether the tool really does as expected – a critical step of evidence-based practice,” Saunders continues. “Specifically, we will compare the vocabulary used by audiologists when explaining hearing loss using the standard audiogram with that used with the Ida ‘My Hearing Explained’ tool. We will then assess the client’s understanding and interpretation of the information they receive when hearing loss and its consequences are explained using the standard audiogram versus the Ida ‘My Hearing Explained’ tool.”
One of the goals of My Hearing Explained is to help friends and family of a client understand that person’s hearing loss. A team in Australia is looking at how My Hearing Explained can be used to establish communication strategies between the person with hearing loss and their communication partners with the project Assessing the use of the ‘My Hearing Explained’ tool to align communication strategies between adults with hearing loss and their communication partners.
“Our team of researchers at the National Acoustic Laboratories are excited to partner with the Ida Institute in this project. We have a long history of research that focuses on client-centred care and in shaping audiological guidelines,” says principal researcher Taegan Young, who is joined by co-investigators Melanie A. Ferguson, PhD and Elizabeth Beach, PhD. “This project focuses on the client and their communication partners, the people closest to them, who matter the most to them. By investigating the use of the My Hearing Explained tool, we hope to give clients and their communication partners more clarity around the diagnosis of hearing loss, to help them develop communication strategies that are cooperative and supportive.”
The purpose of the Ida Research Grant is to further research and build evidence for person-centered care. Each year, up to $10,000 USD is awarded in funding to three projects that develop evidence related to Ida Institute methods and tools and aim to demonstrate the effectiveness of person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation.
This year’s projects will be completed by September 2021. For more information about previously funded projects, visit our Research Grant page.