Guidelines for Audiologists on the Benefits and Limitations of Genetic Testing Purpose This tutorial provides information to aid audiologists in determining when a referral for a genetics evaluation is appropriate for a patient with hearing loss. Direction is given on discussing the benefits and limitations of genetic testing with parents of children with hearing loss. Method Genetic patterns of ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   December 01, 2015
Guidelines for Audiologists on the Benefits and Limitations of Genetic Testing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Danielle Mercer
    The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Danielle Dionne Mercer: dmerc2@lsuhsc.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   December 01, 2015
Guidelines for Audiologists on the Benefits and Limitations of Genetic Testing
American Journal of Audiology, December 2015, Vol. 24, 451-461. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0010
History: Received January 17, 2015 , Revised April 26, 2015 , Accepted May 17, 2015
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2015, Vol. 24, 451-461. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0010
History: Received January 17, 2015; Revised April 26, 2015; Accepted May 17, 2015

Purpose This tutorial provides information to aid audiologists in determining when a referral for a genetics evaluation is appropriate for a patient with hearing loss. Direction is given on discussing the benefits and limitations of genetic testing with parents of children with hearing loss.

Method Genetic patterns of inheritance are reviewed, particularly in reference to syndromic and nonsyndromic forms of hearing loss. A review of pertinent literature was performed.

Conclusion Audiologists are in a unique position to facilitate investigation into the etiology of a patient's hearing loss. This is of high importance in genetic etiologies because the diagnosis can provide information on recurrence risks and other potential health implications. Suggestions are made to help audiologists recognize when a genetics referral is warranted, counsel patients and their parents about the benefits and limitations of genetic testing, and interpret genetic test results.

Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank Dr. Barbara Gordon-Wendt, LSUHSC Department of Communication Disorders Audiology Program Director, for editing this article and providing direction and encouragement for this project. The author would also like to thank Dr. Fern Tsien, LSUHSC Department of Genetics and Stanley F. Scott Cancer Center, for offering guidance and support through several genetics projects.
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