Role of Audiologist in a Rehabilitation Team

Original Editors -Naomi O'Reilly and ReLAB-HS

Top Contributors - Naomi O'Reilly, Kim Jackson, Rucha Gadgil, Lucinda hampton and Ashmita Patrao      

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Audiologists are experts in the prevention, identification, assessment, treatment and (re)habilitation of auditory and vestibular difficulties across the lifespan. They work to improve an individual's quality of life and maximize their participation in society.

Audiological rehabilitation is the process of providing training and treatment to improve hearing for those who are hearing impaired. These services focus on supporting an individual to adjust to hearing loss and make the best use of audiological assistive devices to better manage conversations, and take charge of their own communication. Hearing, balance, and other related disorders are complex, with medical, psychological, physical, social, educational, and employment implications. Treatment services require audiologists to know the existing and emerging technologies, intervention strategies, and interpersonal skills to counsel and guide individuals and their family members through the rehabilitative process. [1][2]

Knowledge and Skills for Clinical Practice[edit | edit source]

After professional training in audiology, audiologists have the knowledge, skills and judgment to provide services related, but not limited, to Auditory Function, Vestibular Function, Hearing Conservation, Tinnitus, Hyperacusis and Misophonia, Auditory Processing Disorders, Cerumen Management, Prescription and Dispensing of Hearing Aids, Assistive Listening and Alerting Devices, Implantable Hearing Devices and Audiologic Rehabilitation.[1][4]

Assessment and Identification[edit | edit source]

  • Identify, test, diagnose, and manage disorders of human hearing, balance, and tinnitus;
  • Interpret test results of behavioral and objective measures
  • Counsel patients about hearing health and the possible need for treatment/management
  • Assess suitability for hearing aids and cochlear implants
  • Provide fitting, programming, and audiologic rehabilitation for hearing aids and cochlear implants for best possible outcome
  • Supervise and conduct newborn hearing screening programs
  • Evaluate and manage children and adults with central auditory processing disorders
  • Screen speech-language, the use of sign language, and other factors affecting communication function for the purposes of audiologic evaluation and/or initial identification of individuals with other communication disorders [1][2]

Management and Treatment[edit | edit source]

  • Perform otoscopic examination of ear canals and ear drum
  • Manage the removal of excessive cerumen, and make ear impressions
  • Recommend and provide hearing aid selection, fitting, and programming
  • Recommend and provide hearing assistive technology systems (HATS)
  • Recommend and provide audiologic rehabilitation including speech reading, communication management, language development, and auditory skill development
  • Perform assessment and nonmedical management of tinnitus
  • Counsel and educate individuals and families/caregivers on the psychosocial adjustments of hearing loss [1]

Prevention and Education[edit | edit source]

The role of audiologists can be promoted by the following methods[2]:

  • Collaborate with educators in relation to communication management, educational implications of hearing loss, educational programming, classroom acoustics, and large-area amplification systems for children and adults with hearing loss
  • Educate the public on the prevention of hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance difficulties related to the vestibular system
  • Consult about accessibility for persons with hearing loss in public and private buildings, programs, and services
  • Implement and/or coordinate community, school-based, or occupational hearing screening and conservation programs
  • Participate in the development of professional and technical standards
  • Demonstrate the value of audiologic services by measuring functional outcomes and effectiveness of treatment
  • Supervise audiology assistants who provide support functions to the practice of audiology

Resources[edit | edit source]

  1. World Health Organisation, Deafness and Hearing Loss
  2. Global Journal of Otolaryngology, Role of an Audiologist, March 2017
  3. International Journal of Audiology
  4. Xue L, Le Bot G, Van Petegem W, van Wieringen A. Defining interdisciplinary competencies for audiological rehabilitation: Findings from a modified Delphi study. International journal of audiology. 2018 Feb 1;57(2):81-90.

References [edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Scope of Practice in Audiology. Available from: https://www.asha.org/policy/sp2018-00353/ (accessed 2 July 2021).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 American Academy of Audiology. Scope of Practice.https://www.audiology.org/practice-resources/practice-guidelines-and-standards/scope-of-practice/ [Accessed 27th June 2021].
  3. Harvey Abrahms. What is Audiology ? Available from: https://vimeo.com/588949711/d4ffc825d0[last accessed 30/07/21]
  4. International Association of Audiology. Overview. Available from: https://isa-audiology.org/about-isa/overview (accessed 2 July 2021).