audiology patient centered care

Person and Family Centered Care in Audiology: How are we Doing?

by Barbara Weinstein, PhD

A guiding principle of work with older adults is patient-centered care (PCC) where patient preferences guide the decision-making process. Three domains of behavior govern shared decision-making. Clinicians must elicit the feelings and belief systems of the persons with which we work. We must be transparent about the diagnosis and expected benefits and harms of interventions, and we must make sure to assist patients and family members in analyzing treatment options based on full disclosure regarding outcomes.

Clinicians who practice PCC distinguish themselves from those who do not because, as shown below, the person with hearing loss (and family members when appropriate) are the stakeholders. Clinicians and others directly involved with the delivery of care are encouraged to ask themselves, how you are doing in this arena?  

Using the checklist below, follow this new HHTM column which will highlight the voices of a distinguished group of patient advocates including renowned composer Richard Einhorn, Hearing Health Advocate Shari Eberts, MBA and prominent physician and researcher, Jan Blustein, MD PhD.


The Patient Centered Care (PCC) Checklist:


  • Do you understand and focus on the patient’s needs and preferences?
  • Do you inform and educate patients and their families about treatment options and the time-course of their care?
  • Do you frame and tailor information according to your understanding of the patient’s concerns, beliefs, and expectations (health literacy levels)?
  • Do you recognize and that patients often become overwhelmed by the volume of information shared and time your appointments accordingly?
  • Do you recognize that the quality of relationships and interactions between patients, staff, and clinicians are integral to quality outcomes and PCC?




Epstein RM, Fiscella K, Lesser CS, Strange KC. Why the nation needs a policy push on patient-centered healthcare. Health Aff . 2010;29(8):1489-1495.

Poost-Foroosh L, Jennings MB, Cheesman MF. Comparisons of client and clinician views of the importance of factors in client—clinician interaction in hearing aid purchase decisions. J Am Acad Audiol 2015;26(3):247-259.

Grenness C, Hickson L, Laplante-Lévesque A, Davidson B. Patient-centered care: a review for rehabilitative audiologists. Int J Audiol2014;53(suppl 1):S60-S67


*featured image courtesy myfuture

About Paul Teie

Paul Teie has been an audiologist since 1992, spending 15 years in direct clinical care. For the last 12 years he has found his true calling as a teacher and is currently National Educational Specialist with WSAudiology.