The Chronic Care Model and Chronic Condition Self-Management: An Introduction for Audiologists

Elizabeth Convery, Louise Hickson, Gitte Keidser, Carly Meyer
Seminars in Hearing 2019, 40 (1): 7-25
Hearing health care is biomedically focused, device-centered, and clinician-led. There is emerging evidence that these characteristics-all of which are hallmarks of a health care system designed to address acute, rather than chronic, conditions-may contribute to low rates of help-seeking and hearing rehabilitation uptake among adults with hearing loss. In this review, we introduce audiologists to the Chronic Care Model, an organizational framework that describes best-practice clinical care for chronic conditions, and suggest that it may be a viable model for hearing health care to adopt. We further introduce the concept of chronic condition self-management, a key component of chronic care that refers to the knowledge and skills patients use to manage the effects of a chronic condition on all aspects of daily life. Drawing on the chronic condition evidence base, we demonstrate a link between the provision of effective self-management support and improved clinical outcomes and discuss validated methods with which clinicians can support the acquisition and application of self-management skills in their patients. We examine the extent to which elements of chronic condition self-management have been integrated into clinical practice in audiology and suggest directions for further research in this area.

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