Dockens, A.L., Bellon-Harn, M., Burns, E., Manchaiah, V. & Hinojosa, O.
Journal of Audiology and Otology, 21(2), 115-119.
Publication year: 2017


This pilot study explores audiologist-patient interactions during initial evaluations or consultations. In particular, an audiologist’s response to patient symptoms is examined. Conversations between audiologist and patients were recorded using a digital recorder, which were transcribed, and analyzed using the Codes for Human Analysis of Transcripts and Child Language Analysis computer programs. Mean length of turn and frequency of utterances related to explicit discussion or description of symptoms or the patient’s interpretation of symptoms was determined. Study sample: six audiologist-patient interactions were recorded and transcribed. A single audiologist was used for this pilot investigation. Results suggest that during the initial audiological consultations related to hearing difficulties the audiologist produced more utterances related to explicit description of the symptoms, whereas when during the sessions about complex disorder and hearing aid consultation the audiologist produced more utterances related to the patient’s interpretation of the symptoms. Also, a more equitable distribution of words and utterances per turn are observed during the initial consultation about hearing difficulties when compared to complex disorders and hearing aid consultation sessions where the audiologist was dominant within the interaction. This preliminary study reveals unique insights to audiologist’s communication behavior during audiology consultation session. Efforts are needed to educate and promote appropriate communication between audiologists’ and patients, which could result in increased patient satisfaction.