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caregivers, parents, pediatric patients, COVID, telepractice, COVID-19, pandemic


Telepractice has become a more common experience in today’s society particularly with COVID. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association defines telepractice as “the delivery of … services at a distance by linking clinicians to clients” (2018). Audiology telepractice allows audiologists to provide remote programming services for established patients, needing modifications to their hearing aids or cochlear implants. Remote programming appointments could potentially relieve caregiver stress as these appointments do not require travel, time off, and allow for scheduling flexibility. Children with hearing loss require more medical appointments in comparison to normal hearing peers; this is more evident for children with co-morbid conditions. The purpose of this study was to assess how teleaudiology availability would impact pediatric patient’s parents and to better understand the impact of multiple appointments on caregivers. Data for this study was collected via electronic survey and disseminated via social media targeting practicing audiologists and parental hearing loss support groups. The survey asked parents/caregivers to answer general background information and remote programming questions. Results revealed a total of 11 parents completed this study, and 10 out of the 11 children were diagnosed with a hearing loss; thus 10 participants completed the entire questionnaire. Parents/caregivers reported understanding the importance of seeing their child’s audiologist regularly. Parents of children who had significant medical comorbidities and hearing loss strongly preferred remote programming appointments. Parents shared that remote programming allowed children who are immunocompromised and/or live internationally to see their audiologist without postponing appointments. The majority of parents reported enjoying seeing their audiologist in person, but would accept teleaudiology appointments. This study demonstrated the importance of audiology practices remaining open during the COVID19 pandemic and offering the option of remote programming. It also suggested that the continued option of remote programming technology for the pediatric patients should be considered after COVID19 restrictions are reduced.

First Advisor

Lindsey Jorgensen

Research Area

Communication Sciences & Disorders