Paedo-Audiqlogy: Stalled at the Crossroads
AbstractGiven that Paedo-Audiology should have a scientific basis, the author argues that (1) Science proceeds by establishing a consensus and, as a Science, a consensus should be established for Paedo-Audiology; (2) the subjective (direct observation) audiological tests for young and ‘difficult to test’ children do not at present permit a true consensus, because there is little rational basis for choosing between subjective test methods and test dimensions; and thus (3) the situation presents an impasse. He suggests that the arbitrary and subjective nature of direct observation does not present difficulties of itself. Rather, the problem concerns a lack of agreement as to precisely which techniques and units of measurement should be used. At present there seems to be no way of resolving this lack of agreement. This does not necessarily imply that subjective Paedo-audiological assessments as presently conducted in the clinic are unsound, but it does mean that an exact and well structured Science of subjective Paedo-audiology is not possible, at least in the foreseeable future.