Manchaiah, V.K.C., Stephens D. & Lunner, T.
Audiological Medicine, 10, 109-113.
Publication year: 2012


Objective: The aim of this short paper is to highlight the implications of information provision about prognosis given to sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) patients. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four SSNHL patients to develop the patient journey model that is published in our previous paper (12). In this study the implications from general, ethical and legal perspectives about the information provision were considered (i.e. discussion with experts and the use of relevant literature). Results: Three out of four patients interviewed reported that their doctors (both general practitioners and ENT specialists) gave false hopes about prognosis. From the preliminary data it appears that there is considerable variability in the views expressed by patients about preference in information provision. However, this issue needs consideration as the information provided by professionals may have a serious impact on service provision and outcome. Conclusions: It is our view that even though, in some instances, it may appear that false hope provides short-term psychological benefit to patients, providing full and honest information is necessary for general (i.e. to facilitate patient journey process), ethical and legal reasons.