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Accessible communication between hearing-impaired people and healthcare professionals

At a glance


The number of people, especially older adults, with disabling hearing loss is steadily increasing. To date, existing knowledge about this health condition and its impact on patients’ everyday life has not been transferred into developing a standardised communication model for inclusive practice in healthcare. Research, in fact, has mainly focused on specific communication situations. The objective of this interdisciplinary project, in cooperation with the ZHAW School of Health Professions, is to fill this research gap and explore possibilities to facilitate communication between hearing-impaired elderly people and healthcare providers. To achieve this objective, data on the communicative behaviour of both parties will first be collected, including transcripts of audio recordings, which can reveal various communication issues. Based on this data, communication needs and behavioural patterns of hearing-impaired patients will then be identified. In a further step, focus groups will be carried out to determine what challenges healthcare professionals encounter on a daily basis, to gain in-depth insights into carer-patient interactions and, eventually, to develop a set of communication-supportive strategies and recommendations for the benefit of both the hearing impaired and their carers