Application of the transtheoretical model of behaviour change for identifying older clients’ readiness for hearing rehabilitation during history-taking in audiology appointments

Ekberg, K. et al. International Journal of Audiology. Published online: 13 Apr 2016

Objectives: The transtheoretical model (TTM) of behaviour change focuses on clients’ readiness for adopting new health behaviours. This study explores how clients’ readiness for change can be identified through their interactions with audiologists during history-taking in initial appointments; and whether clients’ readiness has consequences for the rehabilitation decisions they make within the initial appointment.

Design: Conversation analysis (CA) was used to examine video-recorded initial audiology appointments with older adults with hearing impairment.

Study sample: The data corpus involved 62 recorded appointments with 26 audiologists and their older adult clients (aged 55+ years). Companions were present in 17 appointments.

Results: Clients’ readiness for change could be observed through their interaction with the audiologist. Analysis demonstrated that the way clients described their hearing in the history-taking phase had systematic consequences for how they responded to rehabilitation recommendations (in particular, hearing aids) in the management phase of the appointment. In particular, clients identified as being in a pre-contemplation stage-of-change were more likely to display resistance to a recommendation of hearing aids (80% declined).

Conclusions: The transtheoretical model of behaviour change can be useful for helping audiologists individualize management planning to be congruent with individual clients’ needs, attitudes, desires, and psychological readiness for action in order to optimize clients’ hearing outcomes.

Read the abstract here

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