Shared care for hearing complaints: guideline effects on patient flow

Jan A. Duijvestijn*, Janneke P. C. Grutters, Michelene N. Chenault, Manuela A. Joore, Johannes J. Manni, Lucien J. C. Anteunis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rationale, aims and objectives A national guideline was proposed to enable shared care in hearing complaints and therefore to change patient flows. In this study the effect of this guideline is evaluated. Methods From a total of 3500 patients with hearing complaints, consulting the Ear Nose and Throat Department of a large non-university hospital in the Netherlands in 2002, a random sample of 1000 patients was selected. Patient flow was simulated according to guideline criteria with as main outcome measures: the effect of the guideline on patient flow. Results Simulation of the consensus guideline did not really alter patient flow, with 89% to 97% of the patients still being referred to the Ear Nose and Throat specialist or Audiological Centre. Age, ear operations in the past and asymmetric hearing loss are the most important factors determining whether a person is labelled as a patient in need of medical care. Conclusion The present study emphasizes the importance of designing evidence-based guidelines for shared care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-214
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • ageing
  • cohort study
  • guideline
  • hearing aid
  • hearing-impaired person
  • patient-centred care

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