Community-Based Intervention Determines Tele-Audiology Site Candidacy Purpose Sections of the community face barriers to accessing audiology services. The aim of this study was to assess the barriers faced by people in typically underserved community settings and to provide audiology services in their natural environment. Information gathered by questionnaire was used to determine each site's candidacy as ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   October 01, 2016
Community-Based Intervention Determines Tele-Audiology Site Candidacy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura Coco
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Craig A. Champlin
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Robert H. Eikelboom
    Ear Sciences Centre, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands
    Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Laura Coco: lcoco@utexas.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor and Associate Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Issue: Internet and Audiology / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   October 01, 2016
Community-Based Intervention Determines Tele-Audiology Site Candidacy
American Journal of Audiology, October 2016, Vol. 25, 264-267. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-16-0002
History: Received January 5, 2016 , Revised March 22, 2016 , Accepted April 30, 2016
 
American Journal of Audiology, October 2016, Vol. 25, 264-267. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-16-0002
History: Received January 5, 2016; Revised March 22, 2016; Accepted April 30, 2016

Purpose Sections of the community face barriers to accessing audiology services. The aim of this study was to assess the barriers faced by people in typically underserved community settings and to provide audiology services in their natural environment. Information gathered by questionnaire was used to determine each site's candidacy as a potential tele-audiology site.

Method Sixty-three participants were recruited across 3 community sites that were identified as gathering places for individuals who experience barriers to accessing traditional clinical audiology services. Information about demographics and participant experience with barriers to access was gathered by a locally generated, self-administered questionnaire. Pure-tone air-conduction audiometric exams were performed on participants with an automated portable diagnostic audiometer. Afterward, the investigator provided counseling regarding hearing loss rehabilitation or hearing protection. Referrals were made when appropriate.

Results Pure-tone averages were similar within sites but varied across sites. At least 30% of individuals at each site reported they wanted to visit the audiologist more often. Each site reported different principal barriers to access, among them transportation, motivation, and money. Eleven individuals were referred to the next level of care. Questionnaire results revealed special accommodations should be considered at each potential tele-audiology site.

Conclusion The present study provided audiology services to individuals in their natural environment, identified many of the obstacles preventing individuals from pursuing traditional audiology services and provided information for the foundation of a tele-audiology practice.

Acknowledgments
The investigators thank the Oticon Foundation for the donation of the KUDUwave Audiometer. Part of this work was presented at the Second International Meeting on Internet & Audiology, Helsingør, Denmark, September 24–25, 2015.
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