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Strategies for Selecting and Verifying Hearing Aid Fittings

Strategies for Selecting and Verifying Hearing Aid Fittings

RATING: (5 of 5 ears) for students
(3 of 5 ears) for practicing audiologists
AUTHOR: Michael Valente, PhD
PUBLISHER: Thieme Publishing
ISBN: 1-58890-102-5
COST: $59.00

REVIEWER: Gyl A. Kasewurm, AuD, President, Professional Hearing Services, Ltd., St. Joseph, Michigan

SYNOPSIS: This second edition of Valente's original text presents a comprehensive look at all aspects of hearing aid selection and fitting, and features new chapters on middle ear implants, hearing aid counseling and infection control. Other chapters have been revised to reflect the latest developments in the field, such as: improving speech recognition with directional microphones, changing standards for measuring real-ear performance, and new prescriptive procedures for severe hearing loss.

The text addresses the six most common types of hearing loss that comprise the majority of patients seen by audiologists today and actually walks a clinician through the decision-making process in selecting and verifying hearing aid fittings. In addition, this second edition has been updated to include information on state-of-the-art technology including implantable hearing aids, directional microphones, and digital signal processing.

REVIEW: Chapter 1—In the beginning... Catherine Palmer opens her review of the rationale for using prescriptive formulas in hearing-aid fittings with a summary of the historical background on the procedure. The remainder of the chapter represents an all-inclusive list of the various fitting strategies and their uses. The well-organized material serves as an excellent examination of various fitting strategies and their most appropriate uses for all clinicians who perform real ear measurements.

Chapter 2—Priceless material for both students and experienced clinicians alike on the tools clinicians use for measuring and verifying in situ gain and output of hearing aids. The chapter includes a review of basic terminology and clarifies various methods for assessing the output of hearing aids. Once again, hearing-aid guru, Gus Mueller, does not disappoint his readers.

Chapter 3—A step-by-step guide to the proper procedure for conducting real ear measurement testing serves as an excellent model for students who are just learning to conduct the testing.

Chapter 4—This chapter, written by Frances Kuk, describes the history behind using paired comparisons as a tool for selecting the appropriate response of amplification. Terrific graphs in this chapter help to illustrate the author's directives.

Chapter 5—This who, what, when, where, why and how approach to utilizing outcome measures to assess hearing-aid performance proves to be a clever and interesting means of conveying the material.

Chapters 6 thru 10—These five chapters discuss various strategies for fitting a variety of hearing losses such as noise-induced, symmetrical, assymetrical, conductive and unilateral. The easy-to-follow material acts as a good tutorial for altering procedures to accommodate various types of hearing loss.

Chapter 11—This chapter describes the history, types, advantages and disadvantages of middle ear implants for patients.

Chapter 12—Hearing-aid rehabilitation is the focus in this chapter written by an impressive list of audiologists. Case studies afford helpful hints for developing a rehabilitative strategy including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and counseling for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.

Chapter 13—Detailed information on every aspect of the hearing-aid orientation process is the highlight of chapter 13. The overview of the types of available technology and methods of presenting technology options to patients will prove helpful for both students and experienced clinicians.

Chapter 14—A U Bankaitis and Bob Kemp use this chapter to illustrate the need for infection control in various aspects of audiology and hearing-aid fitting. The information proves useful for audiologists in all practice settings.

CRITIQUE: This book, which provides an excellent and comprehensive analysis of the processes used for selecting amplification and verifying hearing aid performance, would serve as a valuable tool for students. However, the text would be more of a review of already well-known information for the experienced practitioner. A strength of the book is that it offers specific fitting guidelines for various types of hearing loss although some information is repeated in various chapters and therefore seems redundant. All in all, Strategies for Selecting and Verifying Hearing Aid Fittings will prove to be an invaluable learning tool for students and a good reference for the library of experienced practitioners.