Getting Started with Person-Centered Care
In 2017, Ida Institute celebrates 10 years of unwavering commitment to developing and integrating person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation. The independent, non-profit Institute, funded by a grant from the Oticon Foundation, has played a key role in helping to make person-centered hearing care a reality in clinics across the globe. In collaboration with hearing care professionals from around the world, Ida continues to develop knowledge and strengthen the counseling process to enable people to express their individual needs, values and preferences and take ownership of their hearing care. Lise Lotte Bundesen, Managing Director of the Ida Institute, sat down with AudiologyOnline's Carolyn Smaka for a discussion about person-centered care relative to audiologists and hearing care professionals.
AudiologyOnline: What is person-centered care?
Lise Lotte Bundesen: At the Ida Institute, we understand person-centered care to be healthcare that is designed around an individual’s needs, values and preferences. While person-centered care is sometimes described as patient-centered care, we prefer person-centered care because it highlights that the people’s needs are best understood and addressed when considered in the context of their entire lives, not just as patients, but in terms of their life goals and their social and emotional functioning.
Person-centered care is at the heart of the relationship between the hearing care professional and the person with hearing loss. In hearing care and other medical disciplines, person-centered care is characterized by mutual respect between the individual and the clinician and empathetic, emotional support in a secure environment. People are empowered to actively participate in decision-making and their values guide all clinical decisions. The individual and the clinician work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of the problem or illness.
AudiologyOnline: How is person-centered care applied?
Lise Lotte: For hearing care professionals, person-centered care requires emphasis on the individual client. By using specific counseling techniques to engage with clients and encourage them to express their thoughts and needs, the clinician seeks to gain an understanding of the whole person – feelings, beliefs and expectations – and the individual’s perspective, motivation and readiness for treatment.
AudiologyOnline: What are the advantages of person-centered care?
Lise Lotte: The benefits of person-centered care are well documented in numerous research studies in a wide range of healthcare disciplines. Person-centered care has been shown to facilitate diagnostic accuracy, symptom control, client satisfaction and importantly, to promote follow-through and successful behavior change. Consistently, positive outcomes are associated with people who see themselves as equal partners in their treatment and actively participate in decision making, goal setting and self-managing their behaviors.
Some contend that person-centered care is too time consuming, but it does not need to entail longer appointments. Studies indicate that just two minutes of uninterrupted listening is enough time to allow 80% of clients to express their story. In fact, person-centered care will help clinicians save time by allowing them to quickly uncover the client's core challenges and needs. While person-centered care does require an investment in training, this investment allows the clinician to save time in the long-run and to reduce return visits.
It is equally important to consider what happens when care is not person-centered. Research has shown that when the human aspects of hearing loss are not addressed, the results are often poor acceptance of hearing technology, low levels of client satisfaction and general frustration for both the client and the hearing care professional.
Person-centered care empowers hearing care professionals to better understand the way individuals define their unique experience of hearing loss and how it impacts their relationship with the world and their ability to communicate with others. We believe this mutual understanding of the influence of hearing loss on a person’s everyday life is essential to fostering an individual’s understanding, trust and hope of a positive outcome.
AudiologyOnline: How can audiologists get started with person-centered care?
Lise Lotte: The Ida Institute has developed a portfolio of counseling tools and resources that allow hearing care professionals to apply person-centered care in their practice. All tools have been developed in collaboration with our community of hearing care professionals and are freely available from our website. We have also just launched a new eLearning platform, the Ida Learning Hall, where hearing care professionals can learn about person-centered care and upgrade their counseling skills.
For study results referenced in this article, visit the Ida Institute’s Research Library.