Over the past decade, the concept of child-centered care (CCC) has gained momentum in hearing healthcare as a supplementary approach to person- and family-centered care (PCC and FCC). Whereas the family-centered approach focuses on the family as a unit, the child-centered model regards the child as an independent being and promotes their right to be actively involved in their own care.
Placing the child front and center
In the CCC model, the center of care is always the child. As such, this model complements or extends traditional person- and family-centered care by placing children in a more prominent and central position and making them the expert in their own life.
Natalie Comas, Speech-Language Pathologist and Project and Training Specialist at the Ida Institute says: “The child-centered approach is about giving a personalized experience to the child, knowing each child well and giving them a voice and choice in their hearing care. With the growing trend towards customized healthcare, this transition from the purely family-centered model, to a combined family and child-centered approach is gaining traction.”
New university course module
Ida’s new pediatric university course module Extending Person-Centered Care to Families and Children underpins this combined approach by adding a specific focus on the needs, preferences, and challenges of children and young people with hearing loss. Developed in collaboration with Kris English, Professor Emeritus in Audiology at the University of Akron, the course material explores the overarching question of what it means to be person-centered in pediatrics and investigates the role of the hearing care professional.
To help students navigate the different ‘centeredness’ models, the course material provides an introduction to each approach. It then considers child-centered care for different age groups, and finally explores the transition from child-centered to person-centered care – from pediatrics to adult services. Methods presented include Theory of Mind, Self-Determination, and Separation-Individuation.
Adding child development concepts in pediatric practice
English says: “This module was designed with three goals in mind: to relate the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child to child-centered hearing care, to integrate child development concepts into pediatric hearing care practices, and to encourage the aspiring pediatric hearing care provider to take every opportunity to support their clients’ development as persons.”
Ida Senior Audiologist Cherilee Rutherford says, “I am really excited for future pediatric audiologists. The new course material that has been so expertly curated by Professor Kris English provide practical and dedicated guidance and resources to make meaningful differences in hearing healthcare. The new generation of professionals will be finely tuned to really give the child a voice throughout the hearing care journey and help build those important relationships that children and families rely on to support them.”
Preparing students for clinical practice
The new module feeds into the full Ida Institute university course, which aims to support lecturers and supervisors as they prepare students to work with individuals and families with hearing loss. The course provides tools and methods that encourage reflective practice and support the development of new abilities and attitudes toward clinical practice. Throughout the course, role-playing and classroom discussions are used to provide context for the material.
The university course module Extending Person-Centered Care to Families and Children supplements Ida’s existing pediatric portfolio, including the tools Living Well for Teens and Tweens, My World, My Turn to Talk for Parents, Telecare for Teens and Tweens, Growing up with Hearing Loss, and My Hearing Explained for Children.
The new university course module will be complemented by a Learning Hall module in early 2021.