Evidence Based Audiology
Dr John Paul Newall BSc Psy MAud PhD MAudSA (CCP)
What is Audiology? Audiology is the science of hearing. Audiologists are involved in: - the assessment of hearing and its disorders - the assessment of balance disorders - the prevention of hearing damage - the provision of rehabilitation to those diagnosed with hearing problems. Audiologists are scientists not medical doctors. Ear, Nose and Throat specialists (sometimes known as Otolaryngolgists or Otologists) are the medical specialists who deal with disorders of the ear.
Evidence Based? As mentioned, Audiology is a science. Science is a system of acquiring knowledge via observation, prediction and experiment. The scientific method aims to produce knowledge which accurately and reliably predicts the natural world. We can only make reliable predictions by looking at evidence. Decision Making in Audiological Practice
The idea of evidence based practice (EBP)is that, when making decisions regarding the treatment of patients, clinicians should: Consider the available evidence. This involves searching for and evaluating the evidence available regarding a particular clinical question. Evaluating evidence can often be tricky as science is not "clean", that is, there are often studies which suggest slightly different or even completely opposite answers to a question. EBP suggest that evidence should be weighted based upon its strength, therefore a study which has many participants and is well run will receive higher weight in a decision making process than will a study with very few participants and poorer methodology. Clinicians must use their own experience to help guide the decision making process. Importantly, the patient should also have input into the decision making process.
Phn: 02-96351030
Email: john.newall@mq.edu.au
Suite 10 Westmead Private Hospital
Westmead NSW 2145