Perspectives on mental health screening in the audiology setting: A focus group study involving clinical and nonclinical staff

Rebecca J. Bennett, Sara Donaldson, Yazdan Mansourian, Michelle Olaithe, India Kelsall-Foreman, Johanna C. Badcock, Robert H. Eikelbooma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Audiology clinical guidelines recommend the use of mental health screening tools; however, they remain underutilized in clinical practice. As such, psychological concerns are frequently undetected in adults with hearing loss. This study aimed to better understand audiology clinic staff’s perspectives (including audiologists, audiometrists, reception staff, and clinic managers) on how to improve detection of poor mental health by (a) exploring the role of audiology clinic staff in detecting psychological concerns in adults with hearing loss and (b) investigating the appropriateness, acceptability, and usability of several screening tools in an audiology setting.
Method: Eleven audiology clinic staff (Mage = 33.9±7.3, range: 25-51 years) participated in a semistructured focus group. First, participants discussed the role of audiology clinic staff in detecting psychological difficulties in adults with hearing loss, including current practices and needs for improving practices. Second, participants discussed the appropriateness, acceptability, and usability of nine standardized mental health.
Results: Audiology clinic staff described their role in being aware of, and detecting, psychological difficulties, as well as their part in promoting an understanding of the link between hearing loss and mental health. Participants described the need to provide support following detection, and highlighted barriers to fulfilling these roles. The use of mental health screening tools was considered to be client and context specific. The language used within the screener was identified as an important factor for its acceptability by audiology clinic staff.
Conclusions: Audiology clinic staff acknowledged that they have an important role to play in the detection of psychological difficulties and identified the core barriers to using screening tools. Future research may explore the possibility of developing a mental health screening tool specific to the unique experiences of adults with comorbid hearing loss and mental health concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-993
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Volume30
Issue number4
Early online date05 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09 Dec 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Perspectives on mental health screening in the audiology setting: A focus group study involving clinical and nonclinical staff'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this