July 5, 2011 News

Audiologic Rehabilitation: Research and Resources

Audiologic Rehabilitation: Research 

Audiologic Rehab in Developing Countries 

Adult audiologic rehabilitation in developing countries may provide positive perceived outcomes, even without optimal hearing aid fittings, according to a study in the South African Journal of Communication Disorders.

Using a standardized outcomes measurement tool (IOI-HA), researchers evaluated self-reported outcomes of audiologic rehabilitation in a group of adults in the South African public health care sector, a population for whom limited audiologic rehabilitation services are available.

Sixty-one participants were included (44% male, sample mean age 69.7 years) through face-to-face or telephone interviews. Results revealed that the average perceived outcome of participants (5 = best outcome, 1 = poorest outcome) was positive across all domains of the inventory, including daily use of hearing aids (4.3), benefits provided by hearing aids (4.3), residual activity limitation (3.9), satisfaction with hearing aids (4.5), residual participation restriction (4.0), impact of hearing difficulties on others (4.6), and changes in quality of life (4.5).

Statistically significant relationships for daily use of hearing aids, degree of hearing loss, type of hearing aids fitted, and the perceived benefit from hearing aids in difficult listening environments (p<0.05) were evident.

Adult audiologic rehabilitation for hearing loss, even without optimal hearing aid fittings, was effective in providing positive perceived outcomes comparable to similar studies in developed countries.

The findings support the initiation of affordable and sustainable audiologic rehabilitation services in developing countries despite limited resources.

Rehabilitation for SSHL 

A study published in the February 2011 issue of the International Journal of Audiology indicates that patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) may require extended audiologic rehabilitation, including a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation approach (medical, social, and psychological), to cope with the complex issues that can arise after SSHL.

Very little attention has been paid in the literature to quality of life, psychosocial consequences, and audiologic rehabilitation after SSHL, which is characterized by a rapid loss of hearing, most often of cochlear origin. Researchers studied how the level of hearing loss, hearing recovery, tinnitus, and vertigo affect quality of life in 369 patients with SSHL and the psychosocial consequences of SSHL in terms of sick leave. The study also examined the audiologic rehabilitation given to patients in connection with SSHL and the benefits of the rehabilitation.

Study results indicated that annoying tinnitus and remaining vertigo after SSHL were the strongest predictors of negative effects on quality of life, and that an extensive multi-disciplinary program of audiologic rehabilitation is required to improve quality of life for SSHL patients. Search DOI:10.3109/14992027.2010.533705.

CIs, Rehabilitation, and Voice Production 

A study recently published in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology suggests that cochlear implantation may improve the auditory control of voice production in adults with post-lingual deafness.

Adults with post-lingual deafness can develop vocal abnormalities similar to those developed in individuals with pre-lingual deafness. Researchers examined the effect of cochlear implantation followed by post-operative rehabilitation on the voice acoustics of adults with post-lingual hearing loss of different duration. The study included 35 Saudi Arabian adults with post-lingual hearing loss who underwent cochlear implantation. Patients were divided into two groups according to the duration of their hearing loss and further divided into two subgroups: those who received audiologic rehabilitation and those who did not.

Using the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP) parameters, researchers compared each subgroup of patients with the normal MDVP Saudi database, and compared the subgroups to one another. Most of the patients in the two groups reported significant improvement in their MDVP results post-implantation.

Further, significantly deviant MDVP parameters were reported in the group of patients with longer duration of hearing loss. Patients who received rehabilitation significantly improved more than those who did not. The researchers conclude that cochlear implantation may improve the auditory control of voice production for adults with post-lingual deafness and that cochlear implantation at an early stage of hearing loss offers better results for voice control, especially if augmented with audiologic rehabilitation. Search DOI: 10.1007/s00405-011-1501-6.

Audiologic Rehabilitation: Resources

Practice Documents  

Professional Issues Statements  

  • On the Definition of Hearing Handicap
  • Professional Issues in Telepractice for Speech-Language Pathology
  • Practice Scope and Patterns
  • Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Speech-Language Pathology
  • Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Knowledge and Skills Statements
  • Knowledge and Skills Required for the Practice of Audiologic/Aural Rehabilitation

Position Statements  

  • Auditory Integration Training
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders
  • Hearing Loss: Terminology and Classification
  • Inclusive Practices for Children and Youths With Communication Disorders
  • Acoustics in Educational Settings
  • Access to Communication Services and Supports: Concerns Regarding the Application of Restrictive "Eligibility" Policies
  • Roles of SLPs and Teachers of Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Development of Communicative and Linguistic Competence
  • Use of FM Amplification Instruments for Infants and Preschool Children With Hearing Impairment
  • Year 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs

Practice Guidelines  

  • Audiology Service Provision in and for Schools
  • Audiometric Symbols
  • Fitting and Monitoring FM Systems
  • Guidelines for Acoustics in Educational Settings
  • Guidelines for Audiologic Screening
  • Meeting the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities
  • Roles and Responsibilities of the SLP Serving Persons With Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities
  • Roles of SLPs and Teachers of Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Development of Communicative and Linguistic Competence

Technical Reports  

  • Access to Communication Services and Supports: Concerns Regarding the Application of Restrictive "Eligibility" Policies
  • Appropriate School Facilities for Students With Speech-Language-Hearing Disorders
  • Audiologic Screening
  • Auditory Integration Training
  • Central Auditory Processing: Current Status of Research and Implications for Clinical Practice
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders: An Introduction
  • Inclusive Practices for Children and Youths With Communication Disorders
  • Roles of SLPs and Teachers of Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Development of Communicative and Linguistic Competence 
  • Acoustics in Educational Settings

Reimbursement  

Additional Resources 


  

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