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Publication Detail
Factors affecting use of speech testing in adult audiology
ABSTRACTObjectiveTo investigate the factors affecting the use speech testing in adult audiology servicesDesignA mixed-methods cross-sectional questionnaire studyStudy SampleA UK sample (n=306) of hearing healthcare professionals (HHPs) from the public (64%) and private sector (36%) completed the surveyResultsIn the UK, speech testing practice varied significantly between health sector. Speech testing was carried out during the audiology assessment by 68% of private sector HHPs and 5% of those from the public sector. During the hearing aid intervention stage speech testing was carried out by 40% and 8% of HHPs from the private and public sector, respectively. Recognised benefits of speech testing included: 1) providing patients with relatable assessment information, 2) guiding hearing aid fitting, 3) supporting a diagnostic test battery. A lack of clinical time was a key barrier to uptake.ConclusionUse of speech testing varies in adult audiology. Results from the present study found the percentage of UK HHPs making use of speech tests was low compared to other countries. HHPs recognised different benefits of speech testing in audiology practice but the barriers limiting uptake were often driven by factors derived from decision makers rather than clinical rationale. Privately funded HHPs used speech tests more frequently than those working in the public sector where time and resources are under greater pressure and governed by guidance that does not include a recommendation for speech testing. Therefore, the inclusion of speech testing in national clinical guidelines could increase the consistency of use.
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