Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care is widely considered a best practice in health and rehabilitation services, yet we have little guidance regarding its application to audiology. Consequently, we may think we know what it looks like and yet be quite off the mark. For example, consider the following dialogue:

Audiologist #1: I fit Hearing Aid XYZ with a new patient today.

Audiologist #2: I’ve heard about that one, it’s brand new. What was your patient’s reaction?

Audiologist #1: Well, it doesn’t matter, I know it will work quite well.

Audiologist #2: Yes but … in the spirit of patient-centered care, her input would be taken into consideration, so…

Audiologist #1:  My decision is completely patient-centered!  It’s based on I know is what’s best for the patient.

Good intentions aside, the first audiologist’s understanding of patient-centered care (PCC) is actually its opposite! In hopes of clarifying our understanding of PCC as well as supporting a gradual change process, this web forum offers a 5-part series on the principles of evidence-based PCC as they apply to audiology/aud counseling, including self-assessments and suggestions for peer-to-peer development. The series concludes with an essay regarding the consequences of putting other priorities ahead of patient-centered care. See links below:

Part 1/5: Audiology Counseling and Patient-Centered Care: Introduction

Part 2/5: Exploring Heath, Disease and the Illness Experience

Part 3/5: Understanding the Whole Person

Part 4/5: Finding Common Ground

Part 5/5: Enhancing Patient Relationships

How to Create Moral Distress: Compromise Values and Professional Ethics by Not Practicing Patient-Centered Care