The role of communication partners in the audiological enablement/rehabilitation of a person with hearing impairment: an overview
AbstractObjective: Hearing impairment is known to have various effects upon both the person with hearing impairment (PHI) and their communication partners (CPs). In addition, CPs are reported to play an important role in making the decision to seek a consultation and the acceptance of intervention by the PHI. The overall aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the role of the CP in the audiological enablement/rehabilitation of the PHI keeping clinical practice in focus. Method: A literature review was conducted using a number of resources including electronic databases, books and websites. Results: An overview of the literature was presented in the following sections: 1) Factors influencing the audiological enablement/rehabilitation of the PHI; 2) Effect of the PHI's hearing impairment on their CPs; 3) CPs’ influence on their PHI's audiological enablement/rehabilitation; 4) Positive experiences reported by CPs of the PHI; 5) Models to represent CPs within the social network context of the PHI; and 6) CP involvement in the audiological enablement/rehabilitation. This paper also identifies gaps in the literature and provides recommendations for further research. Conclusion: It is clear that involvement of the CP in the audiological enablement/rehabilitation can result in mutual advantages for both the PHI and their CPs.