Introduction to Audiology, Eighth Edition

Introduction to Audiology, Eighth Edition

RATING: (4 of 5 ears)
AUTHORS: Frederick N. Martin and John Greer Clark
PUBLISHER: Allyn and Bacon
ISBN: 0-205-36641-4
COST: US$78.00 (softcover)

REVIEWER: Paul M. Brueggeman, M.A. CCC-A, University of South Dakota, Department of Communication Disorders, CMU/Vanderbilt AuD student

SYNOPSIS: This is the eighth edition of this classic textbook that was first released in 1975. This textbook is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the field of audiology. The contents of this text are arranged into fifteen informational chapters. These chapters are arranged into four categories including: Elements of Audiology, Hearing Assessment, Hearing Disorders, and Management of Hearing Loss. The book's arrangement is done in a way to facilitate progressive instruction and learning as one moves through the book in a logical manner. In addition to the content of the textbook, a CD-ROM is included to provide complimentary material to the readings for the student. The contents of this book are appropriate to use in the instruction of an undergraduate introductory course in the field of audiology.

REVIEW: This edition of Martin's text is divided into four categories. I will discuss each of those categories in the following sections:

Section I, Elements of Audiology (Chapters 1–3): Chapter 1 in the book provides an overview of the history of audiology and a look at the statistics involving the need for a profession. This chapter gives the student a nice look at the kinds of employment options that are currently available in audiology. A description of the audiology-related organizations, such as AAA and ASHA are also provided. Chapter 2 introduces the student to the anatomy and physiology of hearing and the basic types of hearing loss that are found. It also covers the various types of tuning fork tests (5 pages of descriptions). In Chapter 3, the student gains knowledge regarding the basics of acoustics and psychoacoustics. The basics of sound, frequency, wavelength, phase, and the decibel are presented in a straightforward manner in this chapter. The graphs and figures that are presented are quite useful to the student's understanding of these sometimes complicated concepts.

Section II, Hearing Assessment (Chapters 4–8): Chapters 4 and 5 in the textbook cover the basic audiometric procedures for pure-tone and speech audiometry. The use of examples and references to the included CD-ROM help the student to fully understand the scope and nature of audiometric testing. The section on audiogram interpretation works to pull it all together to this point in the textbook. Chapter 6 provides the student with the requisite introductory material involved in the assessment of the auditory system via objective tests. The introductory material describes the nature of tests such as the Immitance, Acoustic Reflex, ABR, and OAE measures. Behavioral testing for site of lesion is covered in Chapter 7. Basic explanations of Bekesy audiometry, SISI, and tone decay testing are provided. Chapter 8 involves the areas of testing children, both with objective and subjective measures of hearing. The addition of clinical commentary throughout this chapter enables the student to gain background clinical knowledge regarding testing hearing in children. The sections on language disorders, non-organic hearing loss, and auditory processing disorders are a necessary section included in this portion of the textbook.

Section III, Hearing Disorders (Chapters 9–13): Chapters 9, 10, and 11 introduce the basic anatomy, physiology, development, and pathologies of the outer, middle, and inner ear. The straightforward nature of these chapters enables the student to gain a global appreciation of the elements of hearing and hearing disorders. The use of audiogram examples, clinical commentaries, references to the CD-ROM, and other graphs/figures are quite useful in bringing it all together for the student. Chapter 12 covers the ascending and descending auditory nerve and the central auditory pathways, as well as common disorders that affect those pathways. Chapter 13 discusses the tests for, and signs of, nonorganic hearing loss. The discussion of management options and patient characteristics are quite insightful.

Section IV, Management of Hearing Loss (Chapters 14 & 15): The areas of dispensing, selecting, and verifying hearing aids are covered in Chapter 14. This chapter also explains the history of amplification devices, which provides a historical perspective for the student. Other types of ALDs are discussed in this chapter in a comprehensive yet concise manner. Chapter 15 covers aural rehabilitation, counseling, and management issues related to hearing impairments. An overview of educational options for children is included to provide the reader an appreciation of the types of settings and rehabilitation options that are available for hearing impaired student and their families. A brief, yet concise, look at the various methods of manual communication is covered in Chapter 15.

CRITIQUE: The authors of this textbook provide a concise and well-constructed look into the introductory material concerning the field of audiology. The eighth edition is largely unchanged from the 7th edition. The use of examples and clinical commentaries throughout the book help to solidify the content areas covered.

The three chapters that cover site of lesion testing, non-organic hearing loss, and central auditory anatomy and physiology would be better used in a higher level undergraduate hearing science course, rather than an introductory course. That said, it is not the view of the reviewer that the content should be changed, or that it is misplaced. I am only stating what I have found in the last five years of teaching with this text. The CD-ROM provides additional content in areas such as anatomy, audiometry, and additional resources. The CD-ROM does include simulated hearing loss demonstrations, which is a useful supplement to the core information found in the book. I feel a nice addition to the CD-ROM would be to include interactive components in the areas of acoustics, anatomy, and pure-tone audiometry.

In terms of content, the areas of counseling and rehabilitation are not adequately covered in depth in this text. There are only five pages out of four hundred and twenty-six devoted to the topic of counseling. I feel that the areas of aural rehabilitation and counseling need a greater emphasis in our introductory level texts and course-work, as the students should gain a greater appreciation for the styles and types of rehabilitation and counseling that are part of the audiologist's scope of practice. In summary, this text offers a comprehensive and concise framework for teaching undergraduate students the basics of audiology.