Monday, 3 June 2019

Overcoming Hearing aid Aversion and Loss attitudes..

Family-centred Care Addressing potential barriers to hearing aid uptake in a structured and transparent way An extended version of the FOCAS tool, the FOCAS–ME, has the potential to address the emotional impact of hearing loss on both clients and their families, removing barriers to hearing aid adoption Shareno comments Sabaa Tahir writes: ‘Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. 

Don’t lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier’. (Sabaa Tahir, A Torch Against the Night). So too can be the case for the emotional impacts of hearing loss experienced by both the individual and their family. Acknowledging and openly discussing these emotions and impacts can help promote a better understanding of all affected parties, and the development of shared goals that contribute to better outcomes seen with family-centred care (FCC) approach.

Recognizing this importance of both family and emotions in managing hearing loss, the FOCAS (Family Oriented Communication Assessment and Solutions)4 tool was developed for every clinician’s FCC resource kit. It addresses the needs of families by providing a clear structure to involve them and looks beyond hearing aids alone to meet those needs. It was developed to assist clinicians to more efficiently implement FCC in adult audiology appointments and to more thoroughly address the far-field hearing needs of people with hearing loss. 

Additionally, the FOCAS aims to provide a useful way for clinicians to address the emotional impact of their clients hearing loss on them and their families. Since its creation, the FOCAS has been translated into over 20 languages to support use by hearing healthcare professionals around the world. An adapted version of the FOCAS – The FOCAS-ME Recently, a new version of this resource was created, the FOCAS-ME (Family Oriented Communication Assessment and Solutions – Motivation and Experience) tool.5 It expands on the original FOCAS tool to include a third section than assess Motivation and Experience regarding hearing loss and rehabilitation interventions. 

Specifically, there are 5 questions that address some common barriers to uptake of rehabilitation interventions, such as the client’s prior experience of hearing aids (HAs), and their level of motivation regarding improving their hearing, as well as the cost of HAs, which can be another barrier to hearing aid uptake.6 The questions in this section aid the clinician to address these potential barriers to rehabilitation in a structured and transparent way. How does the FOCAS-ME Tool compare to current practice? 

Elizabeth Collins, a recent graduate of the University of Auckland Master of Audiology program, conducted a qualitative analysis of the FOCAS-ME tool for her Master’s thesis.7 Fig 1. Elizabeth Collins, Author of the study: Family Oriented Communication Assessment and Solutions–Motivation and Experience (FOCAS-ME): A Qualitative Analysis of a Family-Centred Tool. Specifically, she investigated the clinical application of the FOCAS-ME tool as compared to current standard audiological practice, in terms of whether this tool can help promote active inclusion of the family, which is reportedly low in the literature,4,8 exploration of the emotional impacts of hearing loss, consideration of both near- and far-field hearing needs as well determination of motivation and experience. Digging deeper with a random sample… 

A sample of 20 conventional hearing aid discussions (HADs) randomly selected from case notes relating to 52 client appointments conducted at the University of Auckland Hearing and Tinnitus clinic underwent qualitative analysis. Data analysis was framed by seven key elements which were classified as themes, based on the key sections of the FOCAS-ME tool. These included the emotional impact of hearing loss, the client’s perspective on their family member’s experience and vice versa, the family member’s perspective on their own experience, shared goal setting, and the exploration of hearing needs as being near- or far-field, and the components of motivation and experience. 

Additionally, 12 anonymized FOCAS-ME forms completed by hearing healthcare professionals (HCPs) in clinical appointments during a pilot of FOCAS-ME in Australia underwent theme analysis to determine any differences compared to a convention HAD approach. What did the results show? The preliminary results of this study showed that the FOCAS and FOCAS-ME tools have the potential to elicit the information intended towards achieving the aims of these tools, especially with regards to the emotional impact of hearing loss and the impact of third-party disability through incorporating a FCC approach. The FOCAS-ME data showed evidence of the negative emotional impact that hearing loss can have on family members as well as clients, and exhibited the empathy family members can feel for the person with hearing loss.


Research has found that Guinness can help prevent hearing loss
A pint of Guinness each day can help stop you going deaf, new research shows. Long thought to have medicinal properties, Guinness, thanks to its high iron content, may also combat hearing loss. 

It's official, Guinness is good for you Up until recently, Guinness was given to patients in recovery to build up their strength and now, apparently, it replaces lost iron, which helps patients with hearing difficulties. The new research was published in the Journal of American Medicine. 

It seems Guinness has a beneficial impact when drunk, providing much-needed iron that may help to prevent deafness. The research conducted at Pennsylvania State University found that high levels of iron help stop hearing loss. The study of more than 300,000 people found a link between iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and hearing loss. More than 30 per cent of the world’s population is anaemic and needs more iron and is in danger of hearing loss.

Messages from the Alternative Deaf Universe.

Goldthorpe PCSO builds confidence in deaf community
Having had the access for 26 years in  S. Wales, these deaf say they haven't had, you have to wonder what on earth goes on via 'awareness'.  Our own area provided a first direct text/Minicom service to the police, DWP, and the Job Centres.  We installed 42 Minicoms there despite Social Services opposing them.

It also had a dedicated and direct line to the Hospital and a person to deal with any and all enquiries or support you needed.  So what has happened in the last 25 years of raising access awareness and getting a Disability Act... erm nothing! and what we did have has gone.  Given ATR was the sole deaf person in the UK to attend the actual launch of the original Disability Act with other disabled, because 'Deaf assumed it was about disabled people not them, and preferred to go sightseeing (After claiming attendance expenses), instead.' should we be surprised?   So now they are using a charity relay system to be paid for instead?  Far be it from ATR to suggest it is 'Jobs for the deaf boys and gals..' at the root of it.

Why are deaf still unable to contact 999?  Maybe we should look at the fact 87% of them refused outright to register their number or validity with the police?  Who needed that verification to prevent hackers and spoilers abusing the number.  Or, deaf simply asking family/friends who can hear to do it instead? Deaf are 'deafinitely', their own worst access enemy.  Their approaches create more issues than they solve.

Goldthorpe PCSO builds confidence in deaf community By Chloe West | 03/06/2019 Goldthorpe PCSO builds confidence in deaf community PCSO Tom Berry, pictured presenting on how to contact the police. 

A PCSO from Goldthorpe has delivered educational sessions to the local deaf community to increase their awareness and confidence in the police. PCSO Tom Berry delivered his first session to the charity ‘Deafinitions’ last Wednesday. The session covered an understanding of reporting hate crime, protecting vulnerable people and how to contact the police in an emergency and non-emergency situation. 

Deafinitions are a charity based in Goldthorpe, which supports the deaf community in relation to health, employment and youth development, as well as hosting regular community events where members from across South Yorkshire come together and socialise. The charity contacted PCSO Berry earlier this year and he was later invited along to meet their members. The community explained how they had a lack of faith in the police, would often leave crimes unreported and were unclear on how to make contact. 

PCSO Berry explained how people who are unable to call 999 and speak down the phone can use a SMS text messaging service. The emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service, where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire service or coastguard.