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Credit(s): PDHs: 1.0, ASHA CEUs*: 0.1
Summary: How can audiologists enhance patient-centered communication, even during the COVID-19 pandemic? This self-study is from the journal, Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, SIG 7: Auditory Rehabilitation and Its Instrumentation. It features two articles focused on patient-centered strategies for effective communication, from initial consultations to prioritizing follow-up care, during COVID-19. It also includes the article that won the 2021 ASHA Journals Editor’s Award for Perspectives (for SIGs 6, 7, 8, and 9) by Davidson and Marrone. The first article is, “How to Provide Accessible Hearing Health Information to Promote Patient-Centered Care.” Kelly-Campbell and Manchaiah review the literature within audiology on patient-provider communication. They focus on research studies of communication during initial audiology consultation sessions. Through a summary of themes in the literature, they categorize important research findings that provide insight into communication between patients and their audiologists. Finally, they identify five key strategies for effective patient-centered communication. Each strategy is then reviewed in detail, with clinical examples and specific recommendations that can be immediately implemented in practice. The second article is, “A Clinically Valuable Interaction in the Midst of COVID-19 and Beyond: A Viewpoint on the Importance of Patient-Centered Outcomes in Rehabilitative Audiology.” Davidson and Marrone discuss patient-centered communication following hearing aid device fittings. They identify challenges facing patients and audiologists related to follow-up hearing aid services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a literature review and their own recent research, they developed a decision-tree algorithm to help audiologists prioritize clinical activities following hearing aid fittings, including remote formats for care. The algorithm was based on use of a patient-centered outcome measure, the Measure of Audiologic Rehabilitation Self-Efficacy. Patient-centered outcomes measurement is suggested as an engagement strategy for continued communication with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.