University of Melbourne Barriers and Enablers to GP Referral to Hearing Care Study

The Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, in conjunction with the Department of General Practice and Primary Care, is conducting a study investigating barriers and enablers to GP referrals to hearing care for older patients.

Age-related hearing loss occurs in approximately one third of patients over the age of 50 and is associated with significant impacts to health and quality of life. Timely diagnosis and rehabilitation has the potential to mitigate many of these negative health outcomes. Discussing hearing health with patients could significantly increase the number of older adults who receive appropriate hearing rehabilitation, thereby improving the maintenance of function and overall quality of life as patients age.

We want to understand the barriers and enablers to referral to hearing care for GPs in clinical practice. To do this, we are currently recruiting GPs for two different phases of this study:

  1. An online questionnaire (approx. 5-15 minutes) which will be open through September-October 2023. A $75 pre-paid MasterCard will be provided to those who complete the questionnaire here
  2. An online (Zoom) focus group (approx. 1.5 hours in length) which will take place in February 2024. Time and date options will be scheduled around your availability, including after hours. A $225 pre-paid MasterCard will be provided to those who take part in one of these sessions, and participation in the focus group will be an accredited RACGP CPD activity. If you are interested in taking part in a focus group, please contact with the title ‘Hearing loss focus group’.

Our end goal in this study is to design one or more interventions for use in clinical practice to increase referrals by GPs to hearing care.  Your contribution to this study will help us to develop interventions that are feasible and acceptable for use by busy GPs, with the end goal of increasing the number of older patients receiving hearing care and optimising their health and well-being.

Ethics ID: 25802

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Ann-Maree Duncan