Our lab investigates factors contributing to the successful management of hearing differences by individuals across the lifespan. We consider a variety of factors that might impact a hearing healthcare plan including device uptake and use, individualized training, and counseling using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Non-Verbal Communication Behaviors of Audiologists during Hearing Aid Fitting Appointments
an ear and hand with heart in it over test that says non-verbal communication behaviors of audiologist during hearing aid fitting appointments The value of non-verbal communication skills has been demonstrated directly in other medical fields. Non-verbal communication is considered to be a vital building block of active listening and developing a therapeutic relationship (Beck & Kulzer, 2018). Although these results have been assumed to translate into positive outcomes in audiology, little research has investigated this area. This study is a baseline investigation of the incidence rates for various non-verbal communication cues used by audiologists during hearing aid orientations. These results may be used to inform future studies of the impact of additional education on non-verbal skills in counseling or the effects on subjective hearing aid outcome measures as a result of significantly increasing or decreasing the usage of these cues.


Modeling Lost to Intervention in EHDI: An eDelphi Study

icon of three people in a group with a baby over text that says modeling lost to intervention in EHDI: an edelphi study

In 2017, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs in the United States identified 6,537 children with hearing levels outside of the typical range and 34.5% did not enroll in early intervention services. Of the known reasons children didn’t enroll in these support services, the most common was related to parents refusing these services for their child. Using a modified eDelphi approach, experts in early intervention, self- advocates, and parents of children who have been involved in the EHDI system will assess a proposed model of why families do not enroll in early intervention. The end result of this study is a model that is grounded in both research and stakeholder input and can sure as the foundation for future programs aimed at supporting early intervention access.

Addressing Lost to Intervention: A Public Health Approach to Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

Pink background with hands holding a hospital symbol with the text "Addressing lost to intervention: a public health approach to early hearing detection and intervention

Of the known reasons that children did not enroll in these support services, the most common was related to parents refusing these types of services for their child. Using an intervention mapping approach that is common in public health intervention development, we will design and pilot a parent behavior-change module to support early intervention enrollment in children following diagnosis. Concurrent data collection will include evaluations of fidelity for intervention implementation, qualitative interviews with participants about the intervention’s acceptability, and a scale measuring change in the Health Belief Model’s psychosocial determinants. This will be the first systematic evaluation of a parent-level intervention program to support early intervention enrollment in EHDI using intervention mapping.


Early Intervention Enrollment for Children Identified as D/deaf or Hard of Hearing 
A large C with the outline of an ear over the text Early Intervention enrollment for children identified as D/deaf or hard of hearing The 6,337 children who were identified as D/deaf or hard of hearing in 2016 and enrolled in early intervention represent less than 70% of all children identified as D/deaf or hard of hearing that year. When looking towards the data, we are faced with a lack of systemic information as to why infants and families are not enrolled in early intervention. Over 39% of children, who are not enrolled in early intervention after being diagnosed as D/deaf or hard of hearing, have unknown reasons for not enrolling in early intervention. This unknown breakdown combined with the familial declination of early intervention services accounts for over 65% of non-enrollment in early intervention in children identified through EHDI. The goal of this research study is exploratory in nature. Using qualitative interviews and demographic data collection information about what drives families towards early intervention and perceived potential barriers to services may be identified.


Part C Eligibility for Children who are D/deaf and Hard of Hearing: Eligibility and Enrollment data
A large C with an outline of a baby over text that reads Part C eligibility for children who are D/deaf and hard of hearing Eligiblity enrollment and enrollment data State agencies individually determine Part C eligibility criteria for children who are D/HH. Four broad categories of eligibility criteria were identified for states in the years 2017 and 2018; 1) no written rule; 2) eligibility based on hearing thresholds equal to or less than 25dB HL or “any level”; 3) eligibility based on hearing thresholds equal to or less than 25dB HL and additional components related to laterality, type, or permanency; 4) hearing thresholds exceeding 30dB HL including those with additional requirements in terms of laterality.
Twitter Representations of EDHI in the time of COVID-19 
A twitter symbol with the outline of a baby over the text that reads twitter representations of EHDI in the time of COVID-19 The goal of this study is to investigate the representation of EHDI on Twitter before, during, and after a time of social isolation, where social media became a major form of communication. Twitter is an example of one form of social media. By determining how EHDI is represented in this space and the way information is shared, future efforts can determine if it is an appropriate mechanism for information dissemination in EHDI and what changes need to be made to the current corpus of EHDI information on Twitter (Sax et al., 2019, Woodruff & Cienkowski, 2021). 

Below is a sample of some recent poster presentations by the lab! Automatic transcripts for download are HERE