GROUP AR Tools are a big hit in Canada

By Timothy Cooke

Ida Institute audiologist Regitze Willemoës, along with Ida Fellows psychologist Dr. Sam Trychin and Professor Jean-Pierre Gagné, were invited to host a pre-conference workshop, “Ida Institute Motivational Engagement” and conference workshop, "Ida Institute International Collaboration: G.R.O.U.P: -- The Group Rehabilitation Online Utility Pack" at the recent Canadian Academy of Audiology Conference & Exhibition, Ottawa, Ontario.

Over 300 audiologists from across Canada had the opportunity to network and learn from an esteemed list of speakers from within the Audiology world and over 75 joined the G.R.O.U.P Workshop.

The Ida team initially noted the expectations and concerns from the participants about Group AR and the goal was to address each and every one in the session. The main success criteria was to involve, engage and inspire the participants as much as possible and the team, experienced veterans of Group AR, fully understood the difficulties and issues and were on board to discuss the many concerns about Group AR put forward by the delegates such as “It takes too much time” or “How do I get the patients to come?”

Research has already shown that Group AR programs can be an effective way of increasing both hearing aid usage and overall patient satisfaction. By attending group sessions, persons with hearing loss and their communication partners can meet individuals who have experienced many of the same challenges and issues regarding living with hearing loss. In this way, Group AR can serve as a powerful support mechanism for persons with hearing loss.

The workshop generated a lot of positive feedback and was very well received, “Wow! Everything I hoped for/ worried about was addressed in GROUP,” said many of the students.

A key outcome of the workshop was a list of 10 good reasons for Group AR, such as, it is an opportunity to network with other specialists, increased quality of contact time with patients and it saves time – no need to repeat practicalities over and over again, to name but a few.

“Both days the energy was highly dynamic and friendly,” said Regitze. “Several participants didn’t want to leave their workshop after the sessions and we even had a few new faces join us after the lunch break.”

“We had so much fun and learned a great deal about patient-centeredness, with the delegates highlighting aspects and reasons why they incorporate it into their workplaces.”

The feedback and outcome from the workshop forms a great platform for the American Speech language Hearing Association (ASHA) convention 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, in November, where Regitze and Jean-Pierre will again present.

Find more information about the Ida tool - The Group Rehabilitation Online utility pack (G.R.O.U.P) here

Dr.Sam Trychin is currently a psychologist in private practice and a consultant to Stairways Behavioral Health, Erie, PA. His specialty is the application of psychological concepts, principles, and procedures to problems and issues related to hearing loss.

Jean-Pierre Gagné is a Professor at the École d’orthophonie et d’audiologie, faculté de medicine, at the Université de Montréal where he teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in audiological rehabilitation. Gagné’s research interests are in the area of audiological rehabilitation in younger and older adults with hearing loss