Date of Degree

6-2021

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Au.D.

Program

Audiology

Advisor

Donald A. Vogel

Subject Categories

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Keywords

audiology, hearing aid, tele, ehealth, teleaudiology, remote

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this systematic review is to examine the current literature to look at patient experience and satisfaction with teleaudiology services. Specifically, teleaudiology services that occur at the fitting and/or post-fitting stage of the adult hearing aid patient journey.

Methods: A comprehensive search utilizing PubMed, MEDLINE and EBSCOhost databases were conducted to identify pertinent, peer-reviewed, articles related to the clinical usage or clinical applications of teleaudiology for hearing aid fittings and/or follow-up for adult individuals. Inclusion criteria were studies that are empirical, included quantitative results, articles published in English, peer-reviewed articles; and persons who are 18 years or older. Exclusion criteria included: records relating to persons under the age of 18; the application of teleaudiology as it relates solely to cochlear implants, tinnitus, aural rehabilitation, and/or diagnostic hearing assessment; hearing aid evaluations, fitting and/or follow-up conducted solely in person; descriptive articles; and records only containing an abstract.

Results: A total of six studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. Three studies utilized two intervention groups to compare those who received teleaudiology (TA) hearing aid services versus the same services face-to-face, or in-person (IP). One study evaluated the use of blended services to assess the effectiveness and quality of TA and IP hearing aid follow-up services, and to determine if order in which services were received mattered. The remaining two studies used one intervention group to assess the feasibility of hearing aid teleaudiology services. All but one study utilized a facilitator to help carry out TA services.

Discussion: Overall findings of the reviewed studies demonstrate the effectiveness of teleaudiology as a means of service delivery for hearing aid evaluations, programming, fitting, fine-tuning and providing counseling. The use of TA services for hearing aid fittings and/or follow-ups have no adverse effects on patient outcome when utilized over IP services. Facilitators played a major role in helping carry out services and they served as the remote audiologists’ “hands,” “eyes,” and “mouth.” Technological disruptions occurred in several studies and was the most common issue that impacted participant satisfaction with TA services.

Conclusion: The findings of this review suggest TA is an effective way to deliver hearing aid services for adult populations. Additionally, results suggest effectiveness and feasibility of TA services, as well as patient satisfaction with services, are comparable to IP hearing aid services. While TA appears to be the future of our profession, more research is needed in the area of teleaudiology to continue to demonstrate that this is a viable service delivery model and to highlight/address holes in current literature and current day practice.

Key Words: audiology, hearing aid, tele, ehealth, teleaudiology and remote.

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