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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2014, Article ID 168684, 7 pages
Review Article

Importance of “Process Evaluation” in Audiological Rehabilitation: Examples from Studies on Hearing Impairment

1Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
2Linnaeus Centre HEAD, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioral Science and Learning, Linköping University, 58183 Linköping, Sweden
3The Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University, 702 81 Örebro, Sweden
4Eriksholm Research Centre, Oticon A/S, 20 Rørtangvej, 3070 Snekkersten, Denmark

Received 2 May 2014; Accepted 25 August 2014; Published 3 September 2014

Academic Editor: Leonard P. Rybak

Copyright © 2014 Vinaya Manchaiah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The main focus of this paper is to discuss the importance of “evaluating the process of change” (i.e., process evaluation) in people with disability by studying their lived experiences. Detailed discussion is made about “why and how to investigate the process of change in people with disability?” and some specific examples are provided from studies on patient journey of persons with hearing impairment (PHI) and their communication partners (CPs). In addition, methodological aspects in process evaluation are discussed in relation to various metatheoretical perspectives. The discussion has been supplemented with relevant literature. The healthcare practice and disability research in general are dominated by the use of outcome measures. Even though the values of outcome measures are not questioned, there seems to be a little focus on understanding the process of change over time in relation to health and disability. We suggest that the process evaluation has an additional temporal dimension and has applications in both clinical practice and research in relation to health and disability.