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Are we off balance? An investigation of audiologists’ referral practices for vestibular assessments for cochlear implant candidates and recipients in the pediatric population with single-sided deafness

head shot of Danielle J Nasoff

Name: Danielle J Nasoff
Major: Communication Sciences & Disorders
Minor: Studio Art
Advisors: Donald M. Goldberg, Ph.D., Joan E. Furey, Ph.D. (second reader)

This study investigated audiologists’ referral practices for vestibular assessments in the pediatric population of cochlear implant (CI) candidates and recipients with Single-Sided Deafness (SSD) or unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL). Recruitment messages for audiologists, that included a link to an electronic survey, were posted to Special Interest Groups of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as well as sent directly to medical institutional members of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance and Children’s Hospitals across the United States. Several conclusions resulted from this study, including the following: all referral rates for vestibular assessment were low, however, there was a statistical significance showing that SSD/USNHL CI candidates had the highest rate of referrals when compared to bilateral CI candidates and SSD/USNHL CI recipients had higher rates of vestibular referrals than bilateral candidates. Also, audiologists were significantly more likely to refer for vestibular assessment to an “on-site” versus “off-site” facility for both SSD/USNHL CI candidates and recipients. Audiologists reported the lack of accessibility and availability for vestibular assessment and re/habilitation for their pediatric patients. A major implication concluded from this study was that there are tests within the vestibular battery that could be modified for pediatrics, allowing for more accessibility for vestibular assessments and ideally lead to more referrals for pediatric patients in general.

Key Words: single-sided deafness (SSD), unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL), unilateral hearing loss (UHL), cochlear implants (CIs), pediatric hearing loss, vestibular assessment, vestibular referral rates, pediatric audiologists, vestibular audiologists

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.


5 responses to “Are we off balance? An investigation of audiologists’ referral practices for vestibular assessments for cochlear implant candidates and recipients in the pediatric population with single-sided deafness”

  1. Katlyn Yeager says:

    Woohoo! This is awesome.

  2. Donna Nasoff says:

    How difficult would it be to make the modifications and institute/distribute to audiologists? Seems like the typical challenge of making something extremely valuable accessible to those who need it.

  3. Rachel Semel says:

    Congratulations Danielle!

  4. Rhiannon Johnson says:

    Congrats, Danielle!!

  5. jillian ness says:

    Congrats Danielle! It is so cool to see your project come to life because I know how hard you worked!