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Survey of Audiology: Fundamentals for Audiologists and Health Professionals

Survey of Audiology: Fundamentals for Audiologists and Health Professionals

RATING: (4 of 5 ears)
AUTHORS: David A. DeBonis and Constance L. Donohue
PUBLISHER: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon
ISBN: 0-205-33839-9
COST: US$61.20 (softcover)

REVIEWER: Kellen Ann Rogan, M.S., V.P. of Membership, Illinois Academy of Audiology, Otovestibular Resources, Chicago, Illinois

SYNOPSIS: DeBonis and Donohue both bring years of clinical experience followed by years of teaching to the writing of this text. From their experience, the authors point out Survey of Audiology focuses on people and communication not just on ears and hearing. The authors define several goals. This text aims to not only encompass necessary scientific information but also to include the humanistic issues that are needed in good practice. The text attempts to show speech-language pathologists and other health care providers the relevance of audiology concepts, practices, and data. Lastly, DeBonis and Donohue strive to present the material in understandable language taking full advantage of the use of examples and case studies.

REVIEW: The first chapter defines audiology and explains the difference between audiologists and speech-language pathologists. It provides good examples of how the two can collaborate. This chapter is the first to advocate the importance of humanism in the audiology practice. Chapter 2 introduces the reader to the physics of sound. It discusses air and bone conduction testing and hearing loss. This chapter explains degree of loss but expands this discussion to include effects on function using both the frequency spectrum of familiar sounds and the articulation index audiograms. Additionally this chapter briefly describes environmental acoustics including noise and reverberation. The anatomy and physiology of the auditory system is discussed in Chapter 3 including both the peripheral and central auditory systems and a brief discussion of the vestibular system and its importance. Chapter 4 focuses on pure tone testing including the audiometer, types of earphones, calibration, and the test process including the importance of the patient interview or case history. Several case studies are provided to illustrate the information that was just presented.

Chapter 5 highlights speech audiometry and the benefits of obtaining and using speech perception information. Chapter 6 encompasses the physiological assessment of the auditory system. This chapter discusses objective measures and their importance including immittance testing, electrocochleography, auditory evoked potentials, and otoacoustic emissions. At this point, the authors integrate information obtained from not only behavioral but also objective testing and illustrate how the information works together to determine the "big picture." Disorders of the auditory system are reviewed in Chapter 7. This chapter presents conditions or disorders that may affect the auditory system and breaks it down further into disorders specifically affecting the outer, middle, inner ear and also some central parts of the auditory system.

Chapter 8 introduces the reader to pediatric audiology. This chapter discusses the importance of the assessment of hearing and treatment of hearing loss with strict reference to children. It provides a thorough description of testing methods used for children at their different ages. Additionally, this chapter touches on the early identification and intervention and its importance. Chapter 9 discusses the assessment and management of special populations. Of all of the special populations audiologists work with, the text highlights and gives examples of the elderly and deaf, and adults with developmental disabilities, neurogenic disorders, and nonorganic hearing loss. Auditory processing disorders are covered in Chapter 10 including the assessment of auditory processing, reasons for justifying a referral, and recommendations of remedial approaches for individuals diagnosed with auditory processing disorders.

Chapter 11 focuses on screening of hearing and ear function for all ages. It highlights the important nature of screening programs, advantages and disadvantages. This chapter further discusses early identification through types of screening measures, early intervention and audiologists collaboration with speech-language pathologists. Chapter 12 covers the next steps to follow after a diagnosis of hearing loss is determined. It is titled "Helping Individuals with Hearing Loss." This chapter touches on several important aspects including aural rehabilitation, hearing aids, assistive devices, cochlear implants, tinnitus, hearing loss prevention, multicultural issues, and also provides a good description of counseling with a good focus on the humanistic approach to counseling.

CRITIQUE: Survey of Audiology: Fundamentals for Audiologists and Health Professionals should serve as an excellent introductory text for undergraduate students studying in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The authors have provided a text that is well written and easy to read. The many examples presented truly work to help the reader apply the scientific information they just learned to real life situations. The authors do an excellent job of executing all of their goals especially with their strong focus on humanism. One matter I think the authors may have discussed further is licensure and professional status. The authors state ASHA is the national organization that certifies audiologists and speech-language pathologists in the U.S.; however, the text does not make mention of state licensure nor board certification. I believe these are essential elements that should be at least mentioned in an introductory level text. With this one issue aside, I believe this text will serve students as a reference long after their course is completed. Survey of Audiology is an important and useful addition to the bookshelf of undergraduate students or allied health care professionals and could serve as a reference text for practicing audiologists.