ASSERT research programme is committed to creating, understanding and sharing knowledge.
ASSERT’s research programme is explicitly undertaken to advance and support the delivery of real-world solutions in healthcare, healthcare education and healthcare technological innovation at a national and global level.
ASSERT is focused on supporting, designing, developing, enhancing and implementing interdisciplinary research that fosters and enables a community of academics, healthcare professionals and industry engage in a collaborative, cohesive and synergistic manner to achieve these solutions.
Maire Caitlin Casey, Eoin S O’Broin, Dept. of Plastic Surgery, CUH.
UCC LISTEN study
(Listening and Interpreting Speech with Technology Evaluation Nuances)
Simon D. Smith
Abdul Muiz Khalid
Mark Daniel Leahy
Dr Tom Hinchy
Patients and healthcare professionals understanding one another is fundamental to safe and effective care. The clinical consultation depends upon spoken communication, though we have few studies of the contribution of hearing impairment to medical error.
In a previous study we asked students (registered with the hearing disability services of British and Irish universities), about their experiences of healthcare (Henn, O’Tuathaigh et al. 2021). Over 20% reported mishearing medication, medical advice or diagnoses.
As people age they tend to find it more difficult to hear conversations including medical consultations. Age Related Hearing Loss (ARHL) is an incurable and progressive condition, beginning in both genders over 50 years old, affecting both ears becoming worse over time. It is one of the most common medical conditions amongst older people affecting almost all citizens over 80 years of age.
We interviewed patients aged 60years and above (over 50% reported some degree of hearing loss) attending a hospital outpatient department. Over 25% reported mishearing or misinterpreting medical advice, regarding medication use, diagnosis or treatment(Cudmore, Henn et al. 2017).
Older people are frequent users of healthcare, often coping with several chronic illnesses, requiring multiple medications and discussions with a number of providers.
In a study of communication between patients and health professionals working both in hospital and General Practice (Smith, Manan et al. 2020), over 90% of professionals agreed ARHL impairs healthcare and 10% reported that communication issues contributed to multiple medication errors. However less than 5% of hospital based and less than 15% of General Practice professionals had attended formal training for communicating with hearing impaired patients.
Within the UCC LISTEN study (Listening and Interpreting Speech with Technology Evaluation Nuances) we developed an online version of questionnaire which measures healthcare literacy, that is the ability of an individual, to understand spoken medical information. To help us understand the effect of hearing impairment, some people will hear the questions presented with simulated hearing impairment, their scores will be compared to those hearing the questions without distortion.
Our goal is to develop an online assessment taking patients a few minutes to complete before their healthcare consultation. The results will assist the healthcare worker and patient to communicate most effectively; for example, writing notes and diagrams, or making extra time for the patient to give informed consent to treatment.
Please click on the weblink for an article explaining our work and to listen an audio clip simulating the experience of a hearing impaired patient.
Cudmore, V., P. Henn, C. P. O’Tuathaigh and S. Smith (2017). “Age-related hearing loss and communication breakdown in the clinical setting.” JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.
Henn, P., C. O’Tuathaigh, D. Keegan and S. Smith (2021). “Hearing Impairment and the Amelioration of Avoidable Medical Error: A Cross-Sectional Survey.” Journal of Patient Safety17(3).
Smith, S., N. S. I. A. Manan, S. Toner, A. Al Refaie, N. Müller, P. Henn and C. M. P. O’Tuathaigh (2020). “Age-related hearing loss and provider-patient communication across primary and secondary care settings: a cross-sectional study.” Age and ageing49(5): 873-877.
Woulfe F, Fadahunsi KP, Smith S, Chirambo GB, Larsson E, Henn P, Mawkin M, O’ Donoghue J. The Identification and Evaluation of Methodologies to Assess the Quality of mHealth apps in High, Low & Middle-Income Countries: a Rapid Review. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 21/07/2021:28384 (forthcoming/in press)
The ancient principle of primum non nocere is highly relevant when considering surgery of the lateral skull base and of the Temporal Bone.
The surgeon is required to carry out microscopic dissection in close proximity to the Brain, Facial Nerve, Sigmoid Sinus, Cochlea and Semi-Circular Canals, one tiny slip can have catastrophic effects on the patient!
Regular cadaveric dissection in the laboratory is the only way the surgeon can acquire the requisite skills necessary to carry out this very delicate surgery.
The ASSERT Centre provides a unique facility with work stations consisting of operating microscopes, electrical drills and surgical instruments; enabling surgeons in training to hone their skills in an appropriate setting for the ultimate benefit of their patients.
It is the only centre in Ireland which allows regular weekly access to surgeons and is under the governance of the Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology at the South Infirmary/Victoria University Hospital Cork
Are digital technologies fit for clinical purposes? A systematic review and qualitative synthesis of information quality frameworks for digital healthcare. In the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR).
Kayode Philip Fadahunsi, Siobhan O’Connor, James Tosin Akinlua, Petra A Wark, Joseph Gallagher, Christopher Carroll, Josip Car, Azeem Majeed, John O’Donoghue