Diversity & Equality in Health and Care Open Access

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Hearing Loss: Investigating the Comfort, Confidence, Knowledge, and Preparedness of School-Based Speech- Language Pathologists

Matsumoto A, Mattingly R, Pitts T, Smith AF*

Due to advances in technology, the number of users with hearing devices has increased. These users are often mainstreamed into classrooms with typical hearing peers. However, even with these devices, speech and language impairments may still persist. This study was conducted to analyze school-based speech-language pathologists’ (SLP) comfort, confidence, knowledge, and preparedness in treating students with hearing loss in Kentucky schools. Forty-eight SLPs practicing in all levels of school including elementary, middle, and high, completed an anonymous online survey through the Qualtrics platform. Responses were received from SLPs representing 11 out of the 15 regions throughout Kentucky. Spearman’s rank order correlation was r to assess the association between the comfort, confidence, knowledge, and preparedness of SLPs to manage selected hearing devices and providing treatment. Previous research conducted throughout the United States demonstrated that there is an overall lack of comfort, confidence, knowledge, and preparedness of SLPs in treating patients with hearing loss. Previous research has also demonstrated the need for more knowledge and training for treating those who use hearing devices. This study was conducted to compare the results of Kentucky school-based speech-language pathologists to other studies previously conducted in other states. The findings were consistent with previous results demonstrating that overall there is a lack of training in managing students with hearing loss, the need for more collaborations with other professionals, instruction at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and the need for various forms of continuing education.

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