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ERIC Number: EJ1139951
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Conversation Breakdowns in the Audiology Clinic: The Importance of Mutual Gaze
Ekberg, Katie; Hickson, Louise; Grenness, Caitlin
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v52 n3 p346-355 May-Jun 2017
Background: Conversational breakdowns are a persistent concern for older adults with hearing impairment (HI). Previous studies in experimental settings have investigated potential causes of breakdowns in conversations with a person with HI, and effective strategies for repairing these breakdowns. However, little research has explored the causes of hearing-related communication breakdowns, and their repairs, in extended, naturally occurring conversations in a healthcare setting. Aims: To analyse systematically instances of clients' initiations of repair within video-recorded initial audiology appointments, and to examine the interactional environment in which they occurred. Methods & Procedures: Participants included 26 audiologists and their older adult clients (aged 55+ years). Companions were present in 17 of the 63 appointments. Conversation analysis (CA) was used to examine the video-recorded audiology appointments with older adults with HI. The corpus was systematically analysed for all instances of "other-initiated repair" by clients (initiation of repair targeting the prior speakers' turn). A collection of 51 instances of other-initiated repair were identified. These instances were analysed in detail for: (1) the interactional environment in which they occurred; (2) the strategy by which the client initiated repair; and (3) the strategies used by the audiologist to repair the communication breakdown. Outcomes & Results: In 76% (n = 39) of the 51 cases of other-initiated repair from the client, there was a lack of mutual gaze between participants (i.e., either the audiologist or the client were looking away or facing in another direction during the prior turn). More specifically, many of these instances occurred when the audiologist was speaking to the client while multitasking. Audiologists used multiple-repair strategies in their responsive turn in an attempt to repair the communication breakdown efficiently. Conclusions & Implications: These findings, from extended, naturally occurring conversations with older adults with HI in clinic settings, highlight the importance of face-to-face communication even in quiet one-to-one settings. Clinicians should remain aware of their movements and gaze when speaking to clients during appointments. The findings also provide further support for the importance of communication programs in hearing rehabilitation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A