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Auditory processing disorder: an online survey of hearing healthcare professionals' knowledge and practices.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate (1) the current level of awareness and knowledge on Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) among Audiologists and other hearing healthcare professionals; (2) current practices in screening, diagnosis, and management of APD in children and adults across the UK; (3) professional's acceptance of APD assessment and diagnosis.

DESIGN: An online survey was disseminated through the British Academy of Audiology and ENT UK.

STUDY SAMPLE: A total of 191 hearing healthcare professionals responded to the survey.

RESULTS: Overall, while 63% of the respondents considered themselves to be adequately informed about APD, only 4% viewed themselves as very informed on the topic. Fewer than half of the respondents report screening (31%), diagnosing (14%), or managing (36%) cases of APD. For screening APD, professionals most commonly use auditory processing tests in adults and take case histories in children, whereas routine audiological procedures are the primary method for diagnosing APD in both adults and children. Although modifying the listening environment is a widely recommended management strategy for APD, half of the respondents indicated that a diagnosis of APD has no implications for patient management.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a critical need to promote APD-related training to ensure they can provide appropriate referrals and management.

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