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Aural Rehabilitation for Adults

The scope of this page is aural rehabilitation for adult populations ages 18 and older.

See the Treatment sections of the Hearing Loss (Adults) Evidence Map, the Tinnitus Evidence Map, and the Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) Evidence Map for summaries of the available research on this topic.

The definition of aural rehabilitation (AR), as well as the terminology used to describe the practice of AR, has varied and evolved over the years. Montano (2014) defined AR as

a person-centered approach to assessment and management of hearing loss that encourages the creation of a therapeutic environment conducive to a shared decision process which is necessary to explore and reduce the impact of hearing loss on communication, activities, and participations (p. 27).

Boothroyd (2007) defined AR as

the reduction of hearing-loss-induced deficits of function, activity, participation, and quality of life through sensory management, instruction, perceptual training, and counseling (p. 63).

Ross (1997) included in his definition of AR

any device, procedure, information, interaction, or therapy which lessens the communicative and psychosocial consequences of a hearing loss (p. 19).

The impact of hearing loss and/or related disorders on a person's quality of life, and the quality of life of their family/significant others, may be substantial. The AR process takes into account a person's interpersonal, psychosocial, and educational functioning, among other factors.

Aural rehabilitation is also referred to as audiologic rehabilitation, auditory rehabilitation, hearing rehabilitation, and rehabilitative audiology. Some terms are more commonly used to refer to services offered by audiologists, whereas some encompass services offered by audiologists and/or speech language pathologists (SLPs).

See the ASHA Practice Portal pages on Adult Hearing Screening, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Hearing Aids For Adults, Hearing Loss - Beyond Early Childhood (addresses hearing loss in ages 5 through adulthood), and Tinnitus and Hyperacusis for more information.

Content Disclaimer: The Practice Portal, ASHA policy documents, and guidelines contain information for use in all settings; however, members must consider all applicable local, state and federal requirements when applying the information in their specific work setting.