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Home » Ears, nose & throat » The future of hearing care is person-centred

Lise Lotte Bundesen

Managing Director, Ida Institute

In the first ever World Report on Hearing, the World Health Organization highlights the importance of a person-centred approach to hearing care.

For anyone who wants to see hearing care that is designed around the individual and that enables people to be equal and active partners in the management of their hearing loss, the World Report on Hearing is a welcome development.

It exemplifies a growing trend, that more hearing care professionals are embracing person-centred care (PCC) and implementing it in their practice.

The rise of person-centred care

Since 2007, we have been working to bring PCC to hearing healthcare, developing tools and resources2 for hearing care professionals. During this time, we’ve seen a drastic increase in and commitment to PCC across the field of hearing care.

Most recently, the International Organization for Standardization prescribed2 that person-centred principles and strategies must be implemented in hearing aid fitting management – a landmark moment. Also last year, we saw the first ever European standard3 outlining the minimum requirements for PCC.

By delivering person-centred care we are working towards individual goals with a shared understanding of what success will look like for the patient, in each situation.

Kathryn Lewis, President of the British Academy of Audiology, an Ida Institute partner

The UK has always been ahead of the curve. Embedded in the NHS Constitution4 from 2012 is a principle to “put the patient at the heart of everything the NHS does”. More recently, NHS bodies across the UK have committed explicitly to creating a person-centred healthcare service.

Change is happening at the grassroots too. There’s a growing recognition among hearing care professionals across the public and private sector too that patients’ acceptance of hearing technology and their ability to manage hearing loss in daily life depends partly on them accessing care centred around their unique needs, preferences, and values.

Good for patients, professionals, clinics

Research indicates5 that PCC leads to more efficient appointments and better outcomes, making it great for patients, practitioners, and business too.

Inspired by Ida is a program that allows professionals to hone and showcase their person-centred skills. We recently asked earners of the Inspired label what had changed since they shifted their approach. Seven in 10 said their patients were more satisfied, and nearly as many (68%) reported increased job satisfaction.

PCC works for everyone, and with the endorsement from the World Health Organization, we are one step closer to a person-centred future in hearing care.


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