A Pilot Study: The Patient Journey with Adults
A previous study examined the 'patient journey' of adults with gradual-onset acquired hearing impairment. This study examined the same for adults with sudden-onset acquired hearing impairment, and assessed differences.
Data were collected from 16 audiologists, using the Ida Institute template, and from four adults with sudden-onset acquired hearing impairment, through semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and presented using a process mapping model.
A patient journey template for sudden-onset acquired hearing impairment was developed based on the professionals' and patients' perspectives. The main difference between these two groups' perspectives was seen in the self-evaluation phase: some stages within this phase were recognised by the patients but not by the professionals. The main difference between the current and the previous study was the absence of a pre-awareness phase in the journey described by patients with sudden-onset acquired hearing impairment, compared with that described by patients with gradual-onset acquired hearing impairment.
Patient journey templates could be useful counselling tools for ear and hearing healthcare specialists. However, such templates should be used only as a baseline; it is important to take a detailed case history to understand each patient's unique experience, including the psychosocial impact of hearing impairment.
Vinaya K. C. Manchaiah and Dafydd Stephens
Manchaiah, V.K.C., Stephens, D. (2012). The patient journey of adults with sudden-onset acquired hearing impairment: a pilot study. Journal of Laryngology and Otology. 126, 475-481.