An important aspect of the professional practice of audiology is clinical and laboratory research, publication of findings and related scholarly activity that addresses clinical questions and provides data and information that serve as the basis for evidence based clinical practice. As a profession, audiology needs solid evidence to provide guidance on clinical practice that involves constantly changing technology in the areas of auditory and vestibular system diagnostics and rehabilitation strategies including those involving surgically-implantable and externally worn devices. Provision of such evidence requires that scientists maintain objectivity and ethical principles while providing information on performance of commercial property.

Key Points

Audiologists today often are employed in private practice or specialized clinical settings. They are increasingly involved in clinical trials and studies involving human subjects, often in collaboration with or funded by industry. While collaboration with industry may be mutually beneficial and provide the most rapid development of much-needed new technologies, such relationships bring with them ethical dilemmas for the audiologist. The Task Force on Ethics in Audiology Research is charged with summarizing information regarding current standards of practice in human research and ethical issues surrounding clinical research and collaboration with industry. This document also serves to remind audiologists working in research, as well as those who are consumers of scientific information, of the ethical obligations of members of the Academy in regard to research. 

This is a 2011 revision of the original document entitled Issues and Guidelines for Ethical Practice in Research for Audiologists published in 2003 by the Academy of Audiology’s Task Force on Ethics in Audiology Research. This revision also includes information related to federal regulations on individual patient privacy and information security.

Get Involved

Whether serving on a clinical document development panel or participating as peer reviewers, volunteers have regular chances to deepen their engagement with the Academy and make important contributions benefiting the field of audiology. If you are interested in clinical document development, please volunteer to express interest and submit a CV to the Academy’s guidelines staff by email.

To view the list of guidelines and strategic documents in development and to learn more about the Academy’s clinical document development process, visit the Academy’s Practice Resources website. Information from interested members is accepted on an ongoing basis, and members will be contacted as clinical document volunteer openings occur.

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