The Role of Communication Partners in the Audiological Rehabilitation

Vinaya Manchaiah, Ph.D.
Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA

Brian Taylor
Fuel Medical Group, Camas, Washington, USA

Series: Audiology and Hearing Research Advances
BISAC: MED007000

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The Role of Communication Partners in the Audiological Rehabilitation uncovers the psychological and social processes that the communication partners of persons with hearing loss may experience.

Currently, there is a renewed focus on family-centered audiological rehabilitation. For this reason, involving patients and their communication partners in all aspects of rehabilitation is necessary. Given the growing importance of audiological rehabilitation among clinicians around the world, this book focuses on several critical aspects of audiological enablement as well as the rehabilitation of patients and their communication partners. This is the first book to focus solely on the communication partners of persons with hearing loss and helps uncover the human dynamics associated with hearing loss.

This book is aimed at hearing healthcare professionals to supplement their reading about audiological rehabilitation. In addition to enhancing existing coursework in this area and family centric care, a quick glance of the chapters reveals several tools and tips that audiologists can put into immediate practice. For these reasons, this book is a useful resource for early career communication disorder students and allied healthcare professionals alike. Vinaya Manchaiah is a Jo Mayo Endowed Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, Texas, USA. Brian Taylor is the Director of Clinical Audiology for the Fuel Medical Group, USA.

List of figures

List of tables

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

About the Authors

Copyright declarations

Chapter 1. Introduction: Hearing Loss is a Communication Problem (pp. 1-32)

Chapter 2. Third Party Disability as Defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (pp. 33-46)

Chapter 3. Positive and Negative Consequences Reported by Communication Partners of Persons with Hearing Loss (pp. 47-62)

Chapter 4. The Communication Partners’ Journey through Their Partner’s Hearing Loss (pp. 63-76)

Chapter 5. The Role of Communication Partners in Audiological Enablement and Rehabilitation (pp. 77-90)

Chapter 6. Models to Represent Communication Partners within the Social Networks of People with Hearing Loss (pp. 91-106)

Chapter 7. Goal Setting and Sharing for the Communication Partner (pp. 107-130)

Chapter 8. Shared Decision-Making and Family Centered Audiological Rehabilitation (pp. 131-154)

References (pp. 155-168)

Index (pp. 169)

“In 2005 I wrote a book about hearing loss and communication (Danermark, first published 2005). At that time it was a disturbing lack of publications addressing the communication partner. This was surprising since, as Lise Lotte Bundesen writes in her foreward to this book, family centered rehabilitation has been discussed for more than 50 years. Experience a hearing loss often leads to problems in work and family life and maintaining social bonds with friends and acquaintances is a challenge. It has great significance for people in the person´s immediate surroundings. Conversation is an extremely complex social action and fundamental for human beings. It requires the active participation of all involved and the credo in my aforementioned book was “It takes two to tango”. However, I did not expected that it would take 13 years before the issue of the role of communication partner in audiological rehabilitation would be addressed in an in-depth theoretical, empirical and comprehensive way.
The authors of the book are very well suited for such an endeavor. They both have long experience and outstanding insight in adult audiological rehabilitation both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. The book is inspired by the framework of Stages of change model; person-centered audiological rehabilitation initially developed by the IDA Institute and further developed by Manchaiah.
The text deals with a number of aspects of the role of the communication partner. In the first chapter the authors emphasize that hearing loss is a communication problem. It is a medical condition which requires medical competence but since hearing loss often also is a communication disorder competences in communication is needed in the rehabilitation process. The next chapter deals with the concept “third-party disability”. It is essential having a clear understanding of this and with help of WHO´s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and health (ICF) the authors describe the range of restrictions and limitations that the communication partner might experiences. The third chapter presents the state of art regarding our knowledge of positive and negative consequences reported by communication partners of persons with hearing loss. Notably here is the discussion of the positive experiences which in the literature about hearing loss often is disregarded. Positive experiences are often related to personal development and improved relationships. Chapter 4 focuses the stages of change model mentioned above in terms of a journey consisting of seven main phases, from contemplation to resolution. It is a model that has been used to understand the journey a person with hearing loss undergoes. By employing this model on the communication partner the authors present a cohesive view of the process the partner experiences. In the following chapter the authors discuss the importance of and strongly argue to involve the partner in the rehabilitation process and they provide the readers with practical advices. In Chapter 6 the problems of maintaining social networks is addressing. The authors discuss this in terms of Communication Rings which they find too restrictive and suggest a more elaborated model Communication World. A crucial part of person-centered audiological rehabilitation is goal setting and shared decision-making. This must also involves the communication partner. In Chapter 7 and 8 the authors provide us with tools and tactics for this.
It is not possible to give justice to the breadth and deep of the content in the book. The theoretical parts as well as the empirical parts are well-written. However, there is one aspect I find disturbing. The authors seems to embrace the traditional, and according to my view old fashioned, view of the communication process in terms of a sender-receiver-medium approach. This comes to the fore in the last chapter. This perspective indicates that communication is about sending a message which (hopefully) a receiver should be able to take in and understand it as the sender intended. This approach has been heavily criticized over the last decades, especially from a dialogue perspective which emphasizes interaction and creating of meaning as a joint activity (see e.g. Linell, 1998). This is the raison d’être for involving the partner. It would had been interesting if the authors had engage more in the state of the art of communication theories and research.
However, this comment should not obscure its strengths. The great importance of this book cannot be underestimated. My experiences as a researcher is that although there is a general understanding of the importance to involve the main communication partner in the audiological rehabilitation this is often overlooked in the clinical work. There might be many reasons for this such as lack of willingness from the partner and resources. But after the publication of this book one cannot claim that it is related to lack of knowledge, neither theoretical nor practical. The book is well footed in current research and reliable knowledge. It also provide the reader with concrete examples of how to acknowledge the communication partner in the audiological rehabilitation. I can indeed recommend the book for professionals in the field. Clinicians, counsellors, speech pathologists, students in these disciplines will all benefit from reading the book.” - Berth Danermark, Örebro University, Department of Health Sciences / School of Health Sciences, Institute of Disability Research, Sweden

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This book is aimed at hearing healthcare professionals to supplement their reading about audiological rehabilitation. In addition to enhancing existing coursework in this area and family centric care, a quick glance of the chapters reveals several tools and tips that audiologists can put into immediate practice. For these reasons, this book is a useful resource for early career communication disorder students and allied healthcare professionals alike.

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