Manchaiah, VKC, Stephens, D. & Meredith, R.
Clinical Otolaryngology, 36, 227-234. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-4486.2011.02320.x.
Publication year: 2011


Objective: The term ‘patient journey’ refers to the experiences and processes the patient goes through during the course of a disease and its treatment. The study explores the perspectives of adults with acquired hearing impairment and to further develop the patient journey template based on the Ida model.

Design: Qualitative approach using thematic analysis and process mapping.

Setting: Support groups of people with hearing impairment.

Participants: Thirty‐two adults with acquired hearing impairment from two hearing impaired groups in Wales. All were hearing aid users.

Main outcome measure: Participants worked in small groups to describe their experiences through hearing loss. These data were used to develop a template of the patients’ perspective of the journey. This was then compared with the perspective of professionals, and a ‘patient journey template for adults with acquired hearing impairment’ was developed.

Results: This template identifies seven main phases as follows: (i) pre‐awareness; (ii) awareness; (iii) movement; (iv) diagnostics; (v) rehabilitation; (vi) self‐evaluation; and (vii) resolution. The study identified a number of new components. The self‐evaluation component was not defined by professionals and reflects the need for patients to consider the costs, benefits and alternatives to the approach provided by audiologists. It is important for audiologists to be aware of this.

Conclusion: The study highlighted the differences and commonalities in perspectives of professionals and patients. Use of the patient journey can help clinicians to understand the unique experiences their patients go through help them to develop patient‐centred treatment.