Original Research

Acoustic immittance measures and middle ear assessment: Current practice by South African audiologists

Ben Sebothoma, Katijah Khoza-Shangase
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 68, No 1 | a818 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.818 | © 2021 Ben Sebothoma, Katijah Khoza-Shangase | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 January 2021 | Published: 07 June 2021

About the author(s)

Ben Sebothoma, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Background: Limited research exists regarding South African audiologists’ practice with acoustic immittance. This study was part of a bigger study titled ‘Wideband acoustic immittance in adults living with human immunodeficiency virus’.

Objectives: The purpose of the study was to explore current practice of South African audiologists regarding acoustic immittance measures, and to explore their perceived knowledge and views on acoustic immittance advancements.

Method: A quantitative survey with a cross sectional design was employed. An electronic questionnaire was distributed to participants via professional associations of audiologists. Data was analysed through descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Most audiologists worked in private practice and conducted tympanometry with 226Hz probe tone and ipsilateral acoustic reflexes. There was no association between clinical setting, levels of qualification, and the use of tympanometry. None of the participants included multifrequency and multicomponent tympanometry (MFT) and/or wideband acoustic immittance (WAI) in their test battery. Most of the participants were not familiar with MFT and WAI. Familiarity with MFT and WAI were only associated with the level of qualification. Limited training and lack of equipment were major barriers to conducting some of the acoustic immittance measures. Most participants believed that they would include MFT and/or WAI in their test battery if they had access to the equipment.

Conclusion: Current findings raise training and clinical implications for the South African audiologists, including training institutions. These findings provide motivation for strategic resource allocation, planning and distribution of audiology clinics in the country if positive preventive audiology outcomes are to be achieved.


acoustic immittance; audiological practice; middle ear function; South Africa; audiology; tympanometry


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Crossref Citations

1. The sensitivity and specificity of wideband absorbance measure in identifying pathologic middle ears in adults living with HIV
Ben Sebothoma, Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Duane Mol, Dipuo Masege
South African Journal of Communication Disorders  vol: 68  issue: 1  year: 2021  
doi: 10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.820