Manchaiah, V.K.C. & Stephens D.
Audiological Medicine, 9(3), 103-109.
Publication year: 2011


Objective: People with hearing impairment have relatively smaller social networks than their normally hearing peers, and may experience more feelings of loneliness. The effects on the person with hearing impairment (PHI) can also impact on their communication partners (CPs). This report discusses the currently available model representing the CPs within the social network context of the PHI and proposes a new model. Study design: The ‘Communication Rings’ proposed and developed by the Ida Institute is discussed. We believe that this model is too simple to represent the complexity and dynamic nature of the CP’s role in the life of the PHI and highlights the need for a new model. Results: We suggest that the model ‘Communication World’ based on the analogy of the solar system, may help overcome some of the problems identified. Clinical examples of how to apply this model and its usefulness in rehabilitation are presented. Conclusions: The expanded model could provide novel information, and provision of a visual representation will help CPs understand the problems of the PHI.