Manchaiah, V., Eikelboom, R.H, Bennett, B.J, & Swanepoel, D.W.
Journal of Audiology, Published Online. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2021.1937348
Publication year: 2021

Objective: This study surveyed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the audiology workplace.

Design: The study used a cross-sectional survey design for audiologists across the globe (n=337) using an online survey (June–August 2020) focusing on changes to the workplace during the pandemic.

Results: Participants represented varied work settings and audiology services. Only a third (31.5%) provided psychosocial support, which may be important during the pandemic, as part of their services. Almost all (97%) audiologists reported changes to their workplace, with 76.4% reporting reduced caseloads during the COVID-19 pandemic. When rating their current and anticipated work conditions, 38.7% reported reduced working hours although only 13.8% anticipated reduced working hours in 6-months’ time. Audiologists ranked services such as access to hearing assessment, hearing device adjustment and maintenance, and general audiological support as being more important during the pandemic than services such as psychosocial, emotional and tinnitus support.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant disruptions to audiological practice that highlights the need to adapt and incorporate new audiological practices including telehealth, to ensure patients have continued access to care and clinics remain sustainable during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and recovery phase.