The importance of significant others in hearing appointments

Family centred care is an integral part of offering best-practice care to you and your family.

Lions Hearing Clinic and Ear Science Implant Clinic, part of Ear Science Institute Australia, are dedicated to improving the lives of people with ear and hearing disorders. Family-centred care is an integral part of offering best-practice care to you and your family and is central to the Lions Experience.

Most people begin to realise their hearing loss through interaction and communication with their significant others. As a result, significant others play a vital role in their hearing journey.1

Who is a significant other?

Any person who you deem to be a close communication partner is a significant other. This may include your family members, a close friend or a carer; essentially anybody who you communicate with on a regular basis.

There is evidence that shows the benefit of involving a significant other in your care and on your hearing journey. In hearing appointments the primary focus should be on helping you to overcome auditory communication barriers. The involvement of one or more significant others can directly impact clinical processes and outcomes because they too are affected by the communication barriers that you experience.2

If you have a hearing loss incorporating a significant other throughout your hearing journey is very important. It allows for a shared understanding of what you are going through which leads to improved outcomes. However, the benefits extend beyond this.

For you, this means you are more likely to treat your hearing loss with hearing aids and have a greater understanding of the impact of hearing loss on your quality of life, overall health and well-being, and your relationships.

For your family, this means a greater awareness of the impact of hearing loss on your quality of life, health and well-being and, improves your relationships.

For Lions Hearing clinic and Ear Science Implant Clinic clinicians, it means they are able to build a better connection and long-term relationship with you with a greater understanding of your needs, wants, motivation and barriers to treating your hearing loss.

Lions Hearing clinic and Ear Science Implant Clinic encourage you to bring a friend or a loved one along to your appointment because hearing loss impacts communication and relationships. As a result, it is important for your family or friend to have a better understanding of how your hearing can affect your life and what is most important to you.


  1. Manchaiah V, Stephens D, Meredith R. The patient journey of adults with hearing impairment: the patients’ views. Clinical Otolaryngology. 36(3):227-234; 2011. 
  2. Ekberg K, Meyer C., Scarinci N, Grenness, C, Hickson L. Family member involvement in audiology appointments with older people with hearing impairment. International Journal of Audiology, 54:70–76; 2015. 14992027.2014.948218 
  3. Singh G, Launer S. Social support predicts hearing aid satisfaction. Trends in Hearing. 20:1-10; 2018.
  4. Ellis BK, Singh G, Launer S. Hearing aid adoption is associated with the type of significant other in attendance at hearing care appointments. Trends in Hearing. 26:1-11; 2022.