The goal of palliation is to provide services that are centred on understanding the salient needs for the patient, maintaining quality of life and addressing any functional and supportive needs of the patient and those caring for them. The audiologist plays an important role in raising awareness of hearing impairment, teaching others to recognise behaviours indicative of hearing impairment, and outlining effective strategies and techniques by which to improve communication. Shifting focus to the promotion of good communication can help enhance shared decision making, thus enhancing patient autonomy, dignity and quality of life. Good communication certainly has an important role in all forms of decision making with regards to healthcare, but perhaps its role in the palliative setting has been previously overlooked. Expanding the palliative multidisciplinary team by involving of audiologists certainly seems like a wise idea, but as with many changes in healthcare, would inevitably require additional resources in both hospital and community settings.

Palliative care: defining the role of the audiologist.
Weinstein B.
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Linnea Cheung

Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, UK.

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