Phonak has convened an international expert panel to provide recommendations for Pediatric Family-Centered Audiological Care, marking an expansion of the Phonak Family-Centered Care initiative (FCC) launched in October 2015, the company announced. The FCC panel is led by a select expert circle which believes that in order to provide optimal patient consulting and treatment, audiological care must shift to emphasize both patient and family involvement during the entire treatment process as a means to enhance the value of hearing care services.

Audiology-related FCC research is just starting to be published, and is a still a small percentage of all published FCC research, according to Phonak. It’s been said that these factors along with the challenges inherent in transforming healthcare delivery have contributed to FCC’s not yet having been widely adopted as the standard of care.

The authors of the first published piece due for publication in the November issue of Hearing Review propose an audiological treatment shift from a site-of-lesion focus to a FCC perspective as a means of increasing the value of services.

Kris English, PhD, panel chairperson and professor at the University of Akron/NOAC, Akron, Ohio, provided some initial overview on how the group will review the charge “Helping Families Move Forward.”

“With the support of Phonak, this pediatric expert panel will address a familiar situation: families who understand the importance of amplification but have not accepted the need for consistent use,” said English.  “Although reasons vary, one outcome is likely: if parents struggle with acceptance, so will their child.”

Can audiologists expand their support beyond information sharing to discuss the concerns that hold families back on seeking treatment? Currently, hearing care practitioners providing services to the pediatric population may be aware of the principles of family-centered practice, but may not have the training in how to incorporate them best when working with children and their families. The goal of the pediatric expert panel is to explore the topic of parent-as-role-model and develop tools to help families discuss what hearing loss and hearing aid use means to them.

“Phonak is very excited to support this initiative to help build stronger relationships and trust between families and audiologists,” said Angela Pelosi, AuD, global head of pediatrics, Phonak.  “Today we know that earlier hearing aid provision and consistent hearing aid use leads to better early language outcomes. At the same time, we know there will be challenges in the journey for families, and by applying a family-centered approach we hope to develop tools needed to open the conversation between audiologists, children, and their families.”

About the Family-Centered Care Expert Panel

The expert panel is composed of 15 key hearing health experts. In addition to Kris English and Angela Pelosi, the group includes Holle Aungst, AuD, Cleveland Clinic; Janet DesGeorges, Hands & Voices executive director; Carol Flexer, PhD, University of Akron; Christine Jones, AuD, Phonak PARC; Stefan Launer, PhD, Science and Technology, Sonova AG; Kerri Le Roux, BSc, Guy’s and St Thomas‘ NHS UK; Jane Madell, PhD, Pediatric Audiology Consulting, New York; Josephine Marriage, PhD, Chear, UK; Jolanta McCall, MSc, Guy’s and St Thomas‘ NHS UK; Mary Pat Moeller, PhD, Boys Town National Research Hospital; Karen Munoz, EdD, Utah State University; Nerina Scarinci, PhD, University of Queensland, Australia; and Elizabeth Walker, PhD, University of Iowa.

Source: Phonak