Transitioning for European young people using telecare tools
During the transition to adulthood into employment or higher education, young people may be more vulnerable to the social, emotional and educational impact of hearing loss. They need to develop self-determination, acquire greater independence, learn to recognise and manage their own hearing needs and self-advocate for the support they require for their hearing and communication.
Online tools can support this process; however, young people are not always aware of all that is available online to support their hearing care. Recent research showed that for specifically hearing loss and technology-related information, young people with hearing loss between 11-17 years of age, only 48% use websites, 38% use social media and 16% use apps or blogs (Ng et al. 2017).
This research study explored how young people can use online telecare tools. The Ida Telecare for Teens and Tweens online toolkit is comprised of Living Well Online, My Turn to Talk and Why Improve My Communication (available at: https://idainstitute.com/toolbox/telecare_for_teens_and_tweens/). These tools are designed to help young people prepare for appointments by organising their thoughts and making sure that they address the issues, needs and concerns that are most important to them in daily life.
Thirty young people aged between 11-17 years from across Europe were invited to participate in the study during The Ear Foundation & Euro-CIU 2017 European Friendship Week in the UK. The young people used Ida Telecare for Teens and Tweens online tools and shared their views through focus groups.
The findings show that the use of online tools encourages young people to actively participate in their own hearing care, by sharing thoughts about their hearing, the challenges they face and the strategies they use. This opportunity to share experiences and learn from others promotes social participation and facilitates open discussion of future hopes and concerns in a neutral and empowering way. This approach fosters self-determination, self-management and self-advocacy thereby increasing the potential for positive long-term outcomes.
Recommendations of this study include
- Support for more widespread use of online tools, such as Ida Telecare tools to support a patient-centred approach, actively engaging young people in their own hearing care, encouraging self-management and self-advocacy
- To increase awareness of the value of using online tools amongst professionals, parents and young people themselves
- Further exploration of using online tools to facilitate communication between child, parent and professionals during educational or clinical appointments
To download a copy of this report, please click Transitioning for European young people