An Open Letter to the Audiology Community
Behavioral audiology (BA) is based on a simple question: How do changes in an individual’s auditory status affect their overt and covert behaviors, specifically, but not exclusively, their receptive communication function? This leads to the corollary: What changes can we, as audiologists, effect in a client’s auditory behavior to improve their receptive communication function?
BA is now in its infancy as a clinical discipline but has its roots right back at the start of modern audiology following World War II when its focus was on the difficulties experienced by U.S. Veterans as a result of traumatic changes to their auditory status.
At that stage, knowledge of auditory function was basic, almost entirely based on the behavioral changes noted in people with abnormal pure-tone audiometry. There was little or no appreciation of the subtleties of the auditory process that have become apparent in greater detail recently, but nevertheless, audiological interventions were based on treating the Veteran’s receptive communication difficulties, as a behavioral audiologist might describe them now.
To understand how BA is different from conventional audiology practice, we must look very carefully at the phenomena with which are working. This close examination has not been carried out in the past (the early assumptions have not been challenged) and, as a result, there is a lot of confusion, both within and outside of our profession. Hopefully, you will see how BA can reduce this confusion as you read on.
We are dealing with highly complex phenomena, but our everyday language does not have well-defined concepts for us to describe these. The common language words such as hearing, especially, has multiple meanings. The jargon we have developed in audiology to describe these phenomena is very loose, and as we begin to uncover the complexities of our area, its inadequacy becomes clearer.
To escape this quandary, we need to re-examine the phenomena we are dealing with fresh eyes and develop very strict definitions. BA uses new definitions to help us with these complexities.
This study aimed to explore the impact of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) on the results of newborn hearing screening (NHS). GDM increases annually in China and across the world. The authors completed a retrospective analysis of 666 women who gave birth between August 2017 and May 2018. Sixty-nine of the women had GDM and were…
Lack of Physical Activity and Obesity in Individuals with Self-Identified Hearing and/or Visual Difficulties
It is reasonable that lack of physical activity would be one thing associated with obesity, but could difficulties hearing and/or seeing also be a factor influencing that relationship? What about gender? Pardhan and colleagues (2021) used data collected from the 2017 Spanish National Health Survey to evaluate the relationship between physical inactivity and obesity by…
Do you remember why Joseph Sauveur is important to our profession? If you do, you could have done better than a recent contestant on the legendary gameshow, Jeopardy. The question posed was: “Born hearing-impaired in 1653, Joseph Sauveur studied sound vibrations and coined this word for the science he pioneered.” While I was impressed that…