Technology use and patient participation in audiological consultations

Matthews, Ben and Heinemann, Trine (2009) Technology use and patient participation in audiological consultations. Australasian Medical Journal, 1 12: 174-180. doi:10.4066/AMJ.2009.99

Author Matthews, Ben
Heinemann, Trine
Title Technology use and patient participation in audiological consultations
Journal name Australasian Medical Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1836-1935
Publication date 2009-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.4066/AMJ.2009.99
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 1
Issue 12
Start page 174
End page 180
Total pages 7
Place of publication Perth, WA, Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Journal
Language eng
Abstract In this paper, we present a study of audiologists’ use of technology in consultations with patients. We highlight the ways in which the hardware and software the audiologist uses to adjust the settings on the patient’s hearing aid are not designed with their necessary use within the consultation’s interaction in mind. Rather, the technology is designed for use by a single user with audiological training. Furthermore, the local interactional context (in the consultation) in which the technology is used creates difficulties for patients to follow the course of their own treatment. For example, the relevance of the audiologists’ actions with the technology is often not available to the patient. Patients cannot know (due to both the arrangement of the computer and the technical sophistication of the software’s interface) whether or not the audiologist is actually addressing their problem when doing something with the technology. We argue that the technology is much more than simply a professional medical tool that mediates an adequate solution to patients’ difficulties. The move towards “patient-centred” design of technologies must appreciate the variety of roles of these technologies in the consultation. Such roles of the technology in a consultation include patient education, explanation, demonstration, and the medical professional’s justification of treatment decisions. In making these observations, we suggest that the existing design and use of technology can marginalise patients’ own participation in their treatment.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Publications
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2012, 20:04:59 EST by Ben Matthews on behalf of School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering