Nature of communication among patients, their communication partners and hearing healthcare professionals is an important part of audiological rehabilitation and can have some influence on the patient outcome. As history taking quite often forms the first instance of communication between patients and professionals it is an important stage in the development of relationship and in the success of subsequent shared decision making. This study was aimed at exploring the nature of verbal communication among patients, audiologists and companions during history taking and also the factors associated with communication dynamics. Video recording of 63 audiology consultations were made and the consultations were coded using the Roter Interaction Analysis System and divided into three consultation phases, which included: history, examination and counselling. Further, they analysed the history-taking phase in terms of opening structure, communication profiles of each speaker, and communication dynamics. Results suggest that on an average the history taking took about 9 minutes and a companion was present only in 27% of the consultations. The three areas of communication were: opening structure, information exchange and relationship building. Audiologists tend to control the history opening structure by using closed-ended questions in about 62% of the time. In addition, audiologists often interrupted patients. Generally, audiologists dominated the history taking session by asking 97% of the questions and asked primarily closed-ended questions including topics such as biomedical and psychosocial / life-style. Few emotionally focused utterances were observed from any speaker (less than 5% of utterances). These results provide an insight on what was overlooked from the previous literature highlighting that little involvement of patients during history taking in terms of evoking their own responses. These findings are important in implementing patient-centered audiological rehabilitation.

Communication patterns in audiologic rehabilitation history-taking: audiologists, patients, and their companions.
Grenness C, Hickson L, Laplante-Lévesque A, et al.
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Vinay Manchaiah

AuD, MBA, PhD, Director of Audiology and Jo Mayo Endowed Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas 77710, USA.

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