The Great Unknown: An Investigation of Audiologists’ Familiarity with Auditory Brainstem Implants (ABIs), Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), Their Clinical Knowledge Regarding Candidacy Criteria, and Outcomes of ABIs

Katherine Fong

Name: Katherine Fong
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Advisor: Dr. Donald M. Goldberg, Dr. Joan E. Furey
This study investigated audiologists’ familiarity with Auditory Brainstem Implants (ABIs) in adult patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). A secondary purpose of this study was to investigate the level of knowledge practicing audiologists have regarding auditory outcomes of ABI recipients. Areas that were investigated include audiologists’ knowledge of candidacy criteria for ABIs and CIs, their frequency in recommending ABIs to adult patients who have NF2, and other clinical aspects of ABIs. The researcher distributed an electronic survey to audiologists’ primarily through: recruitment emails; posts to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Groups (SIGs); Community Research Boards; CI and ABI centers; and to audiology departments at major U.S. hospitals. The first conclusion of this study was that the participants were not Extremely Familiar with NF2 and ABIs and would like to be educated about these topics. The second major conclusion was that audiologists were far more knowledge and familiar with variables of CIs including candidacy criteria, components, and range of auditory outcomes compared to those of ABIs. The third major conclusion was that participants were seemingly moderately uncomfortable to neither comfortable nor uncomfortable when needing to discuss or describe various factors such as diagnosis and treatment options regarding NF2 to adult patients. The fourth conclusion was that the participants were Moderately Comfortable to Extremely Comfortable when needing to discuss the range of auditory outcomes with CIs but ‘neutral’ to Moderately Comfortable when discussing the range of auditory outcomes with ABIs.
Keywords: auditory brainstem implant (ABI), cochlear implant (CI), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), adults with hearing loss

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Katherine will be online to field comments on April 16:
4-6 pm EDT (PST 1pm-3pm, Africa/Europe: late evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study.