Developing a community health model for delivering audiology services
Links to Fileshttp://library.towson.edu/digital/collection/etd/id/57994
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Workapplication/pdf
viii, 53 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies
Hearing loss is a leading cause of disability in the United States. However, individuals with hearing loss often do not receive appropriate audiologic care due to barriers such as lack of health care professionals, poor public and professional awareness, limited resources, geographical isolation, and lack of transportation. One emerging healthcare model proposed to address these barriers is use of community health workers (CHW). A CHW is a trained public health worker who shares important similarities with the patients he/she serves. These similarities can include language, ethnicity, geographical location, and life experiences. This study explored whether CHWs are a favorable approach to extending access to care from the prospective of audiologists. One focus group and two interviews with Maryland-licensed audiologists were conducted. Participants were asked questions regarding their experiences working with clients in their work setting and their experiences with community health and CHWs. Transcripts of the focus group and interviews were analyzed and themes were identified. Results revealed six core themes: issues for the patient, interpersonal issues, issues for the clinician, alternative health care models, professional scope and structure, and health system factors. The interviews revealed two distinctly opposite opinions regarding CHWs in audiology, one positive and one negative. Results of this study reveal the key areas of concern and opportunity regarding use of CHWs in audiology. Additionally,two divergent opinions about CHWs in audiology were examined. A successful model using CHWs would address the issues raised in the focus group and involve stakeholders to create a model that is appealing, implementable, scalable, and sustainable.