American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA Early Detection Poll Results (March/April 2013)

Introduction

A Web-based survey invitation was fielded to a random sample of 3,884 ASHA-certified audiologists and 3,927 ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) on March 19. The survey population was limited to those individuals who indicated that they were employed on a full- or part-time basis as a clinical service provider in the United States. Follow-up reminders were e-mailed to non-respondents on March 26 and April 3. The survey closed at midnight on April 5. The purpose of the survey was to gather professional opinions to help inform a new ASHA public awareness campaign. A total of 1,289 responses were received resulting in an overall response rate of 16.6% (less 54 opt out requests or bounced back messages) (n=585 or 15.2% for audiologists, less 34 opt out requests or bounced back messages, and 704 or 18.0% for SLPs, less 20 opt out requests or bounced back messages).

Data for "all respondents" has been weighted according to the proportion of audiologists and SLPs in the survey population (i.e., n=96,490 of which 8.7% are audiologists and 91.3% are SLPs).

1. Please indicate your primary employment facility. (Check one.)

Primary Employment Facility Audiologists Only (n=585) SLPs Only (n=701) All Respondents
School 16.4% 55.2% 53.1% (681)
College/university 3.4% 0.6% 0.8% (11)
Hospital 28.2% 9.7% 11.6% (149)
Residential health care facility (skilled nursing facility, etc.) 1.2% 6.0% 5.7% (73)
Nonresidential health care facility (private practice, speech and hearing clinic, physician's office, etc.) 42.9% 12.8% 16.9% (216)
Not employed (retired, seeking work, etc.) 1.2% 2.9% 2.7% (35)
Other 6.7% 12.8% 9.3% (119)

[Note: Individuals who selected "not employed" in Question 1 automatically skipped to the end of the survey.]

2. With which of the following age groups do you work? (Check all that apply.)

Age Group Audiologists Only (n=568) SLPs Only (n=658) All Respondents
0 to 6 months 55.1% 9.9% 13.1% (168)
7 months to 2 years 67.1% 25.5% 27.4% (354)
3 to 5 years 79.4% 61.2% 59.0% (760)
6 to 11 years 80.3% 59.3% 57.3% (739)
12 to 17 years 79.4% 36.6% 37.9% (489)
18 to 64 years 68.3% 19.8% 22.6% (291)
65 to 74 years 64.6% 17.2% 20.1% (259)
75 years and up 62.5% 17.0% 19.8% (255)

3. Are your patients aware of the importance of early detection of speech and hearing issues when you first see them?

Response Audiologists Only (n=576) SLPs Only (n=675) All Respondents
Yes 15.3% 13.9% 14.0% (174)
Somewhat 61.3% 51.3% 52.1% (646)
No 15.6% 27.4% 26.4% (327)
Do not know 7.8% 7.4% 7.4% (92)

4. On average, how long do symptoms of hearing loss go undetected in children?

Response Audiologists Only (n=564) SLPs Only (n=668) All Respondents
Less than 6 months 24.8% 8.8% 10.2% (125)
6 months to 1 year 39.4% 33.4% 33.9% (415)
1 to 2 years 17.2% 19.6% 19.4% (238)
More than 2 years 7.8% 7.8% 7.8% (95)
Never detected 0% 0.4% 0.4% (5)
Do not know 10.8% 29.9% 28.3% (346)

5. On average, how long do symptoms of speech delay go undetected in children?

Response Audiologists Only (n=555) SLPs Only (n=663) All Respondents
Less than 6 months 5.4% 3.2% 3.4% (41)
6 months to 1 year 23.8% 26.2% 26.0% (316)
1 to 2 years 37.3% 41.6% 41.3% (501)
More than 2 years 18.4% 19.8% 19.6% (239)
Never detected 0% 0% 0% (0)
Do not know 15.1% 9.2% 9.7% (118)

6. On average, how long will parents wait before taking action when first observing symptoms of hearing loss in their children?

Response Audiologists Only (n=551) SLPs Only (n=654) All Respondents
Less than 6 months 32.8% 24.8% 25.5% (305)
6 months to 1 year 41.4% 30.1% 31.1% (373)
1 to 2 years 14.3% 12.5% 12.7% (152)
More than 2 years 3.6% 3.5% 3.5% (42)
Never take action 0% 0.8% 0.7% (8)
Do not know 7.8% 28.3% 26.5% (318)

7. On average, how long will parents wait before taking action when first observing symptoms of speech delay in their children?

Response Audiologists Only (n=550) SLPs Only (n=655) All Respondents
Less than 6 months 10.0% 12.2% 12.0% (144)
6 months to 1 year 41.1% 42.4% 42.3% (508)
1 to 2 years 24.5% 26.6% 26.4% (317)
More than 2 years 7.8% 9.8% 9.6% (115)
Never take action 0% 0.3% 0.3% (3)
Do not know 16.5% 8.7% 9.4% (113)

8. Are parents of your school-age patients aware that untreated speech and language development problems impede socialization and academic performance?

Response Audiologists Only (n=545) SLPs Only (n=652) All Respondents
Yes 45.0% 44.8% 44.8% (535)
No 41.7% 33.1% 33.9% (405)
Not applicable; do not work with school-age patients 13.4% 22.1% 21.3% (255)

9. In you professional experience, are parents of young children aware of the early warning signs of speech disorders?

Response Audiologists Only (n=544) SLPs Only (n=650) All Respondents
Yes 19.5% 25.7% 25.2% (300)
No 61.9% 64.0% 63.8% (760)
Do not know 18.6% 10.3% 11.0% (131)

10. How informed are parents of autistic children about the benefits of treatment to improve everyday communication for their children?

Response Audiologists Only (n=541) SLPs Only (n=652) All Respondents
Very 7.4% 22.9% 21.5% (257)
Somewhat 32.3% 45.6% 44.4% (530)
Not enough 30.9% 22.2% 23.0% (274)
Do not know 29.4% 9.4% 11.1% (132)

11. Are parents aware that by treating symptoms of communication disorders early, treatment is often less expensive and takes less time?

Response Audiologists Only (n=540) SLPs Only (n=651) All Respondents
Yes 9.6% 19.2% 18.4% (219)
No 50.6% 52.5% 52.4% (624)
Do not know 39.8% 28.3% 29.3% (349)

12. Do parents of young children realize that when early detection doesn't occur, treatment of their children's communication disorders takes longer and is more expensive?

Response Audiologists Only (n=538) SLPs Only (n=646) All Respondents
Yes 10.6% 12.1% 11.9% (141)
No 53.5% 57.7% 57.4% (679)
Do not know 35.9% 30.2% 30.7% (363)

13. How challenging is it to get information to parents about a school-age child with a potential speech or hearing disorder?

Response Audiologists Only (n=532) SLPs Only (n=646) All Respondents
Very 7.7% 5.4% 5.6% (66)
Somewhat 53.8% 51.2% 51.5% (608)
Not at all 17.7% 21.8% 21.5% (254)
Do not know 20.9% 21.5% 21.5% (254)

14. When alerted to a speech or hearing problem, do parents typically take the next step to get their children treatment?

Response Audiologists Only (n=527) SLPs Only (n=644) All Respondents
Yes 40.4% 41.6% 41.5% (489)
Sometimes 50.5% 50.8% 50.8% (598)
Rarely 2.1% 1.2% 1.3% (15)
No 0% 0% 0% (0)
Do not know 7.0% 6.4% 6.4% (76)

15. Do patients know that early detection is often comparatively simple and inexpensive?

Response Audiologists Only (n=525) SLPs Only (n=640) All Respondents
Yes 10.1% 11.4% 11.3% (132)
No 49.0% 52.2% 51.9% (608)
Do not know 41.0% 36.4% 36.8% (431)

16. In your opinion, what is the leading barrier to early detection of communication disorders? (Check one.)

Response Audiologists Only (n=518) SLPs Only (n=640) All Respondents
Caregiver/patient inaction 21.6% 14.4% 15.0% (175)
Cultural hurdles 8.7% 9.8% 9.8% (114)
Financial constraints 11.8% 11.6% 11.5% (135)
Insufficient insurance coverage 8.5% 7.7% 7.7% (90)
Lack of awareness 41.5% 45.5% 45.2% (528)
Other 7.9% 11.1% 10.9% (127)

17. Are your patients aware that misuse of personal audio technology may cause hearing loss?

Response Audiologists Only (n=522) SLPs Only (n=640) All Respondents
Yes 55.9% 17.5% 20.8% (243)
No 28.7% 45.9% 44.5% (520)
Do not know 15.3% 36.6% 34.8% (407)

18. Do your patients view untreated hearing loss among older people as an acceptable part of aging?

Response Audiologists Only (n=521) SLPs Only (n=639) All Respondents
Yes 69.1% 50.4% 52.0% (607)
No 11.5% 5.3% 5.8% (68)
Do not know 19.4% 44.3% 42.2% (493)

19. Who has the greatest impact on whether an elderly patient seeks treatment for hearing loss? (Check one.)

Response Audiologists Only (n=520) SLPs Only (n=640) All Respondents
Adult children 31.5% 28.6% 28.8% (337)
Friends 4.2% 4.2% 4.2% (49)
Physicians 13.1% 13.4% 13.4% (157)
Spouse 39.4% 19.4% 21.0% (246)
Others 1.3% 0.6% 0.7% (8)
Do not know 10.4% 33.8% 31.8% (372)

20. In the past year have you seen more patients for issues related to traumatic brain injury than:

Response Audiologists Only (n>498) SLPs Only (n>601) All Respondents
1 year ago?
Yes 12.2% 13.9% 13.8% (159)
No 37.9% 27.2% 28.1% (324)
NA; do not serve this population 49.9% 58.9% 58.1% (671)
3 years ago?
Yes 14.4% 13.2% 13.3% (148)
No 35.3% 27.1% 27.8% (308)
NA; do not serve this population 50.3% 59.7% 58.9% (652)
5 years ago?
Yes 15.5% 13.3% 13.5% (148)
No 33.3% 25.6% 26.3% (289)
NA; do not serve this population 51.2% 61.1% 60.2% (662)

21. Do parents of young patients who have suffered concussions report that their children's academic performance is suffering?

Response Audiologists Only (n=512) SLPs Only (n=637) All Respondents
Yes 14.3% 17.0% 16.7% (195)
No 24.2% 20.3% 20.6% (239)
NA; do not serve this population 61.5% 62.8% 62.7% (729)

22. What is the source of the injury? (Check all that apply.)

Response Audiologists Only (n=74) SLPs Only (n=109) All Respondents
Football 47.3% 30.3% 4.8% (62)
Other youth sports 56.8% 46.8% 7.2% (93)
Military service 12.2% 3.7% 0.7% (8)
Auto accidents 56.8% 48.6% 7.5% (97)
Gun violence 6.8% 6.4% 1.0% (13
Other 27.0% 36.7% 5.5% (71)

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