Type of Resources
Telemedicine is the practice of providing medical care remotely, when the patient and the clinician are not meeting face to face (Krumm & Syms, 2012). The practice of telemedicine in audiology is teleaudiology. The purpose of the current study was to determine the current perceptions and experiences audiologists have about teleaudiology practices, education, and training. A 16-question survey was developed using Qualtrics and distributed to audiologists via various social media groups for audiologists online and it consisted of 16 questions. There were 352 respondents. Overall, a large percentage of audiologists do perform teleaudiology services, and most reported their training for teleaudiology was on the job or through workshops. The vast majority of participants (93%) reported that they felt there was a need for teleaudiology education and training, while only about 30% of respondents reported there was adequate teleaudiology education and training in their area. Results were further analyzed for the entire group as well as by various demographic factors such as years of experience, practice setting, etc. to see if those factors influenced responses. The results were highly consistent across subgroups such that the factors did not appear to influence the overall perceptions or practices of participants.
The respondents had a chance to make additional comments at the end of the survey and these comments provided some interesting feedback. In the comments, respondents identified barriers to teleaudiology such as lack of infrastructure, lack of institutional support, and a lack of training. Based on the responses obtained in the current study, there does not seem to be a large number of audiologists who have received training in a formal education setting, i.e., graduate courses. However, due to the high percentage of audiologists reporting active teleaudiology services, future studies might include a closer look at graduate curriculum, or a survey targeted to faculty, graduate students, and/or preceptors to determine the extent of teleaudiology content within graduate training programs.