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Patient Motivation and Geometry

Patient Motivation and Geometry

August 30, 2010 In the News

Clark (2010) reports that audiologists have known for many years that patient motivation is key to one’s acceptance of hearing health-care recommendations. Indeed, real change does not occur without motivation from within the person/individual.  Further, internally motivated change (i.e., such as when an individual seeks amplification to improve his or her listening ability) is far more sustainable and presents a greater opportunity to successfully implement change, than when motivation is externally driven (i.e., when a spouse wants the individual to wear hearing aids). Clark notes that we often see patients in denial, patients resistant to change, and patients skeptical of our diagnostics and recommendations and, we see patients immobilized via ambivalence. 

Clark recommends consideration of “motivational engagement” in which the audiologist’s role is one of a “facilitative coach.” Through motivational engagement, the audiologist encourages the patient to reflect on the impact of his or her hearing loss as well as the pros and cons of action versus inaction with regard to the patient’s willingness and ability to make positive changes. Clark offers examples and the rationale of how and when to use Tonnesen’s tools (circles, lines and boxes) to help facilitate positive change in hearing impaired people.

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Clark JG. (2010) The Geometry of Patient Motivation – Circles, Lines, and Boxes. Audiology Today 22(4):32-40.

 The Ida Institute: www.idainstitute.com

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