FM patients can vary widely in both in audiological characteristics and needs. Are there any straightforward rules for fitting FM systems that can apply broadly across all FM patients?
One key rule that can apply to any FM patient is verification of the FM system using real ear measures. Beyond that though, there are few, if any, rules that can broadly apply across all FM patients because they are such a diverse group. Patients who can benefit from FM systems can vary widely in age, hearing loss type, morphology, and etiology, environments of use, and outcome expectations. Some patients utilize FM systems to reconnect one-on-one in quiet environments, while others expect to receive benefit in noisy environments like large group meetings or in restaurant scenarios. As expected, how one would counsel these patients would be vastly different.
Establishing goals can be a good way to shape counseling for each patient. Goals can help account for the patient’s real world experiences and ensure that the patient’s expectations are realistic. Goal setting can be both a standard procedure and yet remain flexible. As a standard procedure, establishing goals with every FM patient is an effective way to establish baseline and define benefit and success in terms that relate to the patient and to the FM technology. Individual goals themselves are flexible in that they can vary patient-to-patient to be more specific to individual needs. Goal setting gives the audiologist the ability tailor the FM fitting to each patient, and helps empower patients when goals are attainable. At the same time, goal setting can improve clinical efficiency and quality by standardizing care.
For more information on this topic, please refer to the ReSound CEU webinar, Tales From the Fitting Room: Case Studies on the Cost and Benefit of FM Systems.