What diabetes, arthritis, and asthma can teach us about managing a hearing loss

Members of the general public are welcome to attend our seminars. However space is limited so if you would like to attend, please ring Sandra Smith at least 24 hours prior to the seminar on 0115 823 2634 to reserve a place. If Sandra Smith is unavailable contact Jan Kelly on 0115 823 2617 or contact reception on 0115 823 2600.

20 November 2017

Presenter(s): Elizabeth Convery
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1



Living well with a chronic condition depends on the acquisition and mastery of an array of skills to manage its effects on everyday life, an active and ongoing process known as self-management. Self-management is a key driver of successful health outcomes for chronic conditions and yields significant benefits for clients and clinicians alike, including better quality of life, increased likelihood of adhering to and succeeding with treatment, and lower health care expenditure. Hearing loss is a chronic condition, yet the current hearing health care system does not treat it as such. Assessment of hearing loss is biomedically focused and technology-based interventions are prioritised over a more holistic approach to managing hearing loss, meaning that our clients are not always afforded the opportunity to develop a comprehensive range of self-management skills.

Drawing on the evidence base for diabetes, arthritis, and asthma in combination with our emerging evidence for hearing loss, this presentation will explore the concept of chronic condition self-management, the factors that influence a person’s ability to self-manage, the relationship between self-management and outcomes, and the barriers and facilitators to addressing self-management with adult clients. These findings will be used to examine the role self-management could play in the context of hearing health care, framed as four lessons that hearing health care professionals can apply to their own clinical practice.


Elizabeth Convery is the senior research audiologist in the Rehabilitation Devices section at the National Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney, Australia and a PhD candidate in her final year at the University of Queensland. She received her bachelor's degree in linguistics and anthropology with first-class honours from the University of Calgary in 1997 and her master's degree in communication disorders and sciences from California State University, Northridge in 2000. Since 2010, Elizabeth has conducted pioneering investigations into the use of self-fitting hearing aids – amplification devices that can be fitted, fine-tuned, and managed independently by the user, without the need for direct clinician involvement or additional specialised equipment – as a way of empowering individuals with hearing loss to assume a more central role in the direction and management of their ongoing care. As part of her doctoral work, she is currently investigating the application of a chronic health condition framework to audiological practice, with a focus on client self-management. Elizabeth maintains an active interest in “on-the-ground” service delivery through voluntary audiological outreach work in remote Aboriginal communities in northern Australia and developing countries in the South Pacific.