Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Sheryl Shoemaker


Audiologists must assume the role of a counselor when providing interpretation of test results to patients and/or family members. A successful audiologist will rely on the knowledge of auditory disorders and rehabilitation and will be willing to form an effective relationship with the patient through communicative counseling. The purpose of this capstone project is to develop a training protocol for audiologists based on a communication process model. This capstone project discusses the process of designing counseling training sessions.

The basic principles of the Adler and Elmhorst (2002) communication process model were used to develop a dialogue and scenarios (role-playing activity) for the training model. The dialogue addresses the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication skills as enhancements for the communication process. The training sessions are followed by a research design that would use second-year audiology doctoral students (research subjects) who will be given two individual investigator-developed scenarios that address a hearing impairment.

The scenarios represent typical patterns seen in certain audiological disorders and are not actual individual audiological results. The research subjects will explain the type, degree, and configuration of the hearing loss, as well as the ramifications of the hearing loss, and treatment options to undergraduate Speech Communication majors (standardized patients). The standardized patients will be given written instructions identifying their role in the study.

Each ten minute counseling session will be videotaped for review. The tapes will be randomly selected for coding by a secondary investigator who will rate the counseling sessions on an investigator-designed rating scale. The research subjects will have two, one-hour training sessions prior to administering the second scenario. The experimental treatment will be conducted by the secondary investigator. The standardized patients will not be the same participants from the first scenario; therefore, the research subjects will administer the second scenario to a different group of standardized patients. Data will be statistically analyzed (t-test for related measures) to determine the number of communication breakdowns and where they occurred in the communication process.