Assessment and revision of a paediatric diagnostic audiology report
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Optimising outcomes for children with hearing impairment (HI) requires a family centred approach that prioritises parent involvement. Families must be provided with information to encourage participation; and meet their need for emotional support and knowledge. Diagnostic audiology reports can help provide this information, but their delivery alone is insufficient. If these reports are not readable and comprehendible they cannot meet national and international legal standards, nor can they support the health literacy of parents. The majority of New Zealand adults have insufficient health literacy skills, a concerning fact given the strong association between poor health literacy and negative health outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate a paediatric diagnostic audiology report, revise it and verify the revision.
A mock audiology report was evaluated via a readability analysis and semi-structured interviews with parent participants. Results confirmed that the report was difficult to read and understand. Next, the report was revised using best practice guidelines and parental recommendations. Verification of the revision process with 32 participants revealed that parents who read the revised report had significantly greater comprehension, self-efficacy and perception ratings than parents who read the unrevised report. Additionally, the report’s readability was markedly improved.
These results may have critical implications for parents and their children with HI. Incomprehensible audiology reports fail to support parental health literacy, promote understanding, encourage participation or offer emotional support. Because knowledge is power for these families, it is hoped that the findings of this study will be recognised and implemented into clinical practice.