Audiology Team Uses Motivational Tools: Wins BAA Poster Prize

By Timothy Cooke

The audiology team in Nottingham, UK, won the British Academy of Audiology poster prize for their account of the team's experience implementing the Ida Motivation Tools into their NHS audiology practice.

Last year, the Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit collaborated with the Nottingham Audiology Services and the Ida Institute to conduct an intensive, 3-day workshop on the Ida Motivation Tools. The workshop aimed to assess the feasibility of implementing the Motivation Tools within NHS clinics, identify the challenges of applying Motivational Engagement methods, and develop an ethnographic documentary to support the training of other audiologists.

Over the course of three days, each member of the audiology team applied the Ida Motivation Tools in three hearing aid fitting appointments. Ida Institute senior audiologist Melanie Gregory facilitated a feedback and reflection session after each appointment and at the end of each day to facilitate the learning process. Ida Institute anthropologist Hans Henrik Philipsen filmed patient appointments along with group reflection sessions. The films will serve as a valuable, educational resource for audiologists looking to introduce the tools into their consultations.

After using the tools with patients, the audiology team found that the Ida Motivation Tools provide a useful framework that taps into the patient’s needs and motivations more readily than a standard history.

“Every single time I have attended an Ida Institute workshop, there has always been somebody that puts their hands up and says it looks nice, but how in the NHS are we going to put something extra into the appointment,” stated Melanie Ferguson, Research Lead for Hearing Loss Rehabilitation, Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit. “After three days filming, what became clear was that if you use the [Ida] tools appropriately, and make the consultation very patient-centered, it doesn't take any more time to use these questioning methods than feeling you have to go through a whole list of things that really isn't very helpful…If you can provide the space to get things out from the patient, than [using the Ida tools] does not really take more time from the appointment.”

Initially, some members of the Nottingham team were skeptical about how long it would take for them to feel comfortable using the Ida tools with patients. By the end of the workshop, they were pleasantly surprised about how easy it was to integrate the tools into their daily routine.

“What struck me was the speed at which the audiologists seemed to pick up how to use the tools,” reflected Melanie Ferguson. “I had used the tools in role play before, and I imagined that it would be quite difficult to use. But with real patients, the audiologists picked up how to use it really quickly. In just two and a half days, you could really see the rate of improvement and how the audiologists were adapting to use the tools so that it fit into the consultation session seamlessly.”

The three day workshop is a precursor to a randomized controlled research study on the effectiveness of audiologists using the Ida Institute's Motivational Tools with first-time hearing aid users and to identify the patient benefits of using Motivational Engagement methods. The study started in Nottingham Audiology Services in December, 2012. 

The authors of the winning poster were Mel Ferguson and Holly Thomas (Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit), and collaborators Naomi Russell, Emily Balmer and Will Brassington (Nottingham Audiology Services), and Melanie Gregory (Ida Institute). The Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit was part of a multi-disciplinary team which was named British Academy of Audiology’s “Team of the Year” in 2012.