A survey of audiologists' clinical practices and their formal education and training in the assessment and management of adults with vestibular pathologies
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
xiii, 204 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies
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There are no restrictions on access to this document. An internet release form signed by the author to display this document online is on file with Towson University Special Collections and Archives.
A survey of audiologists' clinical practices and their formal education and training in vestibular topic areas was sent to 900 practicing audiologists. A total of 334 surveys were returned, both in print and online. The results of the survey were primarily focused on the participants' reported comfort levels in providing a number of vestibular assessment and treatment procedures. These comfort levels were evaluated as a function of the participants' levels of education (i.e., Master's degree, Au.D., or Ph.D in hearing science) as well as their years of clinical experience conducting these procedures (i.e., 0-5 years, 6-10 years, and 10+ years). The results of this survey indicated that the audiologists' years of clinical experience had a broad impact on participants' self-reported comfort levels in administering and interpreting several assessment procedures as well as providing treatment procedures, such as vestibular rehabilitation therapy. In contrast, it appears that audiologists' level of higher education had only a minimal effect on participants' mean comfort levels in the administration and interpretation of various vestibular assessment and treatment procedures. A review of 59 academic programs in audiology that are currently accredited by ASHA indicated that there are typically very few courses specifically focused on vestibular topics. It is hypothesized that if more academic courses as well as hands-on lab exercises related to these vestibular-based topics were available to students, then it is likely that audiologists' comfort levels in administering and correctly interpreting various vestibular diagnostic tests and rehabilitation test protocols would likely increase. Future research in this area is necessary to determine more specific ways to enhance audiologists' education in the assessment and management of individuals with vestibular disorders.