Psychologically Informed Practice in Audiological Rehabilitation: Audiologist Perceived Barriers, Facilitators, and Preparedness

Emma C. Laird, Christina A. Bryant, Caitlin M. Barr, Rebecca J. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Psychological factors, such as mental illness, mental health, attitudes, emotions, and coping styles, are known to impact the success of audiological rehabilitation. However, evidence suggests that audiologists are not sufficiently addressing client psychological factors. Psychologically informed practice, implemented in other healthcare professions, is a framework that guides clinicians in addressing both the physical and psychological factors of a condition throughout rehabilitation. Psychologically informed practice may also be an appropriate framework to improve client outcomes in audiology. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the barriers and facilitators to audiologists addressing client mental health, psychological symptoms, emotions, and feelings, and (2) to determine audiologists' preparedness and willingness to implement aspects of psychologically informed practice in audiological rehabilitation. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 118 Australian clinical audiologists (83.1%, n = 98 female) working in adult audiological rehabilitation. RESULTS: Most participants (91.5%) reported at least one barrier to discussing mental health with clients, with the most common being insufficient knowledge and skills in mental health (39.8%). Applying the COM-B model of behavior change, audiologists reported that factors related to motivation were primarily facilitators, and factors related to opportunity (e.g., lack of time) and capabilities (e.g., insufficient knowledge) were barriers to discussing client mental health. Many participants (83.1%) reported willingness to incorporate a clear protocol, including when and how to refer to psychological services, within audiological rehabilitation. CONCLUSIONS: Audiologists were generally motivated to incorporate psychologically informed practice into audiological rehabilitation; however, lack of knowledge and organizational barriers would need to be overcome. The insights gained in this study provide a foundation for developing a viable approach to psychologically informed practice, which may ultimately encourage audiologists to engage in person-centered care more actively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1865
Number of pages13
JournalEar and Hearing
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

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