Somewhere right now, a patient is saying, “I’m just not old enough to need hearing aids.” The attentive listener will hear not only the words but also the underlying emotions, which might include shock, depression, or fear of stigma. But after hearing the emotion, what do we say in response? Our choices seem to be: ignore the emotion and move on, persuade the patient to feel otherwise, or address the emotion openly. Evidence indicates our choice has power; it could make the difference in a patient’s decision to accept or reject our help.
1. Attendees will be able to describe research correlating the relationship between our response to patients’ emotions to patients’ decision to follow or reject our recommendations.