Use of the 'Patient Journey' Model in the Internet-Based Pre-Fitting Counseling of a Person with Hearing Disability: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

Hearing impairment is one of the most frequent chronic conditions. Persons with a hearing impairment (PHI) have various experiences during their 'journey' through hearing loss. In our previous studies we have developed a 'patient journey' model of PHI and their communication partners (CPs). We suggest this model could be useful in internet-based pre-fitting counseling of a person with hearing disability (PHD).

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with waiting list control (WLC) design will be used in this study. One hundred and fifty eight participants with self-reported hearing disability (that is, score >20 in the Hearing Handicap Questionnaire (HHQ)) will be recruited to participate in this study. They will be assigned to one of two groups (79 participants in each group): (1) Information and counseling provision using the 'patient journey' model; and (2) WLC. They will participate in a 30 day (4 weeks) internet-based counseling program based on the 'patient journey' model. Various outcome measures which focuses on hearing disability, depression and anxiety, readiness to change and acceptance of hearing disability will be administered pre (one week before) and post (one week and six months after) intervention to evaluate the effectiveness of counseling.

Internet-based counseling is being introduced as a viable option for audiological rehabilitation. We predict that the 'patient journey' model will have several advantages during counseling of a PHD. Such a program, if proven effective, could yield cost and time-efficient ways of managing hearing disability.

Citation

Manchaiah, V.K.C., Stephens, D. and Meredith, R. (2011), The patient journey of adults with hearing impairment: the patients' views. Clinical Otolaryngology, 36: 227-234.

Authors

Vinaya K. C. Manchaiah, Dafydd Stephens, Gerhard Andersson, Jerker Rönnberg, and Thomas Lunner