Preferred Name

Lara Leggio

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Yingjiu Nie

Ayasakanta Rout

Erin Piker


The overwhelming nature of hearing loss identification often causes families to experience grief and confusion. Children as young as nine months old with severe hearing loss have the option to undergo cochlear implantation (CI) surgery with the hopes of restoring normal hearing. Pediatric audiologists accompany families through the identification of hearing loss and the learning process that coincides with this surgery. Despite knowledge that parents of children with communication disabilities will experience a sense of loss and have moderate to severe cyclic emotional reactions, little is known about how audiologists manage the emotional needs of families, if they feel prepared to do so, or if they encounter opportunities to do so in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to assess the reality of pediatric audiology clinical practice, specifically the counseling that pediatric audiologists provide to parents. Participants were audiologists who provide CI and hearing aid services to pediatric patients in various health service settings, such as hospitals, speech-language clinics or ear-nose-throat clinics. Audiologists reported high confidence in every topic except for a handful, such as communicating with parents in the depression stage of the grief cycle. Most audiologists received a counseling course as a part of their graduate education in audiology, however 61% of counseling courses did not involve role-play experiences and can be considered ineffective courses. A linear regression revealed a significant relationship between an audiologist’s confidence in providing emotional support in initial appointments and the percent of pediatric patients an audiologist sees in their average patient load (b= .011, and p = .001). Years of experience and completion of counseling coursework did not predict confidence in providing personal adjustment counseling. 77% of audiologists agreed that personal-adjustment counseling is within the scope of audiology, but only 61% of audiologists reported that they have the necessary skills to provide adequate personal-adjustment counseling.



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