Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Hearing Screening for Clients With Aphasia: Challenges, Potential Solutions, and Future Directions Purpose The co-occurrence of aphasia and hearing loss can lead to compounded receptive communication impairment that is significantly worse than in either disorder alone. Therefore, identifying potential hearing loss is a critical part of communication assessment for clients with neurogenic communication disorders, many of whom have aphasia. This clinical focus ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   February 01, 2017
Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Hearing Screening for Clients With Aphasia: Challenges, Potential Solutions, and Future Directions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • JoAnn P. Silkes
    Department of Speech and Hearing Services, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Kaitlin Winterstein
    Kaitlin Winterstein is now at the Shoreline School District, WA, and Marysville School District, WA.
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to JoAnn P. Silkes: jsilkes@uw.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Carolyn Bruce
    Associate Editor: Carolyn Bruce×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   February 01, 2017
Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Hearing Screening for Clients With Aphasia: Challenges, Potential Solutions, and Future Directions
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2017, Vol. 26, 11-28. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0181
History: Received October 13, 2014 , Revised June 24, 2015 , Accepted July 8, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2017, Vol. 26, 11-28. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0181
History: Received October 13, 2014; Revised June 24, 2015; Accepted July 8, 2016

Purpose The co-occurrence of aphasia and hearing loss can lead to compounded receptive communication impairment that is significantly worse than in either disorder alone. Therefore, identifying potential hearing loss is a critical part of communication assessment for clients with neurogenic communication disorders, many of whom have aphasia. This clinical focus article explores speech language pathologists' (SLPs') hearing-screening practices with this population, identifies patterns of concern, and presents potential solutions and future research needs.

Method SLPs completed an online survey. Data were obtained from 102 SLPs who work with adults with aphasia.

Results Most respondents indicated that they do some form of hearing screening, although few do them in a reliable, valid manner. Awareness of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association hearing-screening guidelines was low. The most common reasons given for not conducting screenings included cost and lack of proper equipment and time.

Conclusions SLPs are an important resource for identifying potential hearing loss in individuals with aphasia. These data suggest that hearing screenings are being conducted only inconsistently with this population, often using nonstandardized methods. The results demonstrate a need to develop hearing-screening tools that are affordable, easily accessible, and validated for aphasia, and to raise awareness of currently available hearing-screening protocols and tools.

Acknowledgments
We thank Lynne Werner and Jennifer Gray for their contributions to this project.
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