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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2018| July-December  | Volume 32 | Issue 2  
    Online since December 27, 2018

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Telepractice in speech-language pathology and audiology: Prospects and challenges
Prema K S. Rao, R Yashaswini
July-December 2018, 32(2):67-72
With the advancement in science and technology, the information and communication technology (ICT) mode has been put to best use in the health-care sectors. Unlike health, communication disorders pose special challenges to service delivery. The Discipline of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is an integrated health-care profession which is only about half-a-century old in India. The disproportion in the ratio of qualified service providers to service receivers is highly prevalent. In view of this, “Telepractice” (The term telepractice is used in this article to mean tele-rehabilitation for persons with communication disorders since the service comprises of multifaceted objectives such as rehabilitation in the Discipline of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) as a means of “reaching the unreached” fits well when the service delivery is provided across geographic, time, social, and cultural barriers using ICT mode. Telepractice is generally provided from a remote site using store-and-forward as well as real-time technology using ICT platforms. The platform for telepractice in India is well set, with a considerable number of people being “digitally literate.” Yet, there are several concerns such as development of professional skills for telepractice; development and validation of digital resources; empirical studies on face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid service delivery; revision of code of ethics for telepractice; and mechanism to protect client's privacy on e-platforms that need to be addressed if telepractice has to be launched on a large scale in India. Insights gained from the work carried out at the Telecenter for Persons with Communication Disorders highlight on the advantages of telepractice from client/caregiver's perspective besides reflections on the prospects and challenges of telepractice in India.
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Effect of long-term exposure to traffic noise on acceptable noise level measures in traffic police officers
PG Vipin Ghosh, D Nagashreeya, V Hemavathi
July-December 2018, 32(2):47-51
Introduction: The acceptable noise level (ANL) measure is a subjective way of identifying how much of noise a person is able to put up with while listening to speech. Individuals with low ANL were observed to be satisfied hearing users than the individuals with high ANL. However, the reason for large individual variations of the measure is still not well understood. Exposure to noise may be one such factor that would affect the ANL which was never explored. Among the individuals who are exposed to noise, majority are exposed to occupational noise. Traffic police is such a working population who is exposed continuously to traffic noise during their duty hours. Hence, the present study was planned to investigate ANL measures in traffic police officers that might further provide insight toward the heterogeneity of the measure. Methods: A total of 38 participants were divided into two groups. Group 1 consisted of 19 traffic police officers with minimum of 5 years of job experience and Group 2 consisted of normal hearing individuals without any noise exposure. All the participants underwent routine audiological evaluations followed by ANL testing. Results: The mean ANL obtained in both the groups was statistically compared. The results revealed that the traffic police officers yielded better ANLs than participants in Group 2. Conclusion: This ability of traffic police officers to put up with more noise while listening to speech may be attributed to their long-standing experience in listening to wanted signals in noise.
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Effects of phototherapy on outer hair cell function in infants with hyperbilirubinemia
Vikas Mysore Dwarakanath, Pavana Mohan, Sapthami Patel
July-December 2018, 32(2):52-55
Introduction: Hyperbilirubinemia in newborns has been hypothesized to cause damage to inner ear, thus leading to sensorineural hearing loss. Phototherapy is treatment protocol in most of the hospitals for newborns with high bilirubin levels. The present study aimed to determine the effects of phototherapy on outer hair cell (OHC) function of cochlea. Methods: Twenty-two neonates with hyperbilirubinemia undergoing phototherapy and 22 neonates without any high-risk registers were included in the study. Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) was administered before and after phototherapy. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) evaluation was done during the postphototherapy recording. Results: Results showed that DP amplitude and signal-to-noise ratio improved significantly after phototherapy. ABR evaluation revealed; 19 neonates had significantly prolonged wave V latency compared to normal, whereas no peaks were identified among three neonates. Most of the infantile hyperbilirubinemia are found to be harmless until and unless treatment is not initiated at the earliest, but still it is found that short-term increase in bilirubin level can induce temporary changes in OAEs and ABR measures. ABR needs to be repeated over a period of time for these three neonates to rule out auditory dyssynchrony (AD). Conclusion: The results indicate that phototherapy has temporary effects on OHC function and can improve as the bilirubin levels reduce. Follow-up testing over a period of time helps in discriminating the sensory pathology and AD.
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Comparing fundamental frequency within and across speakers of Hindi and English
Towino Paramby, Katherine Verdolini Abbott, Gregory Turner, Carlotta Kimble, Robert DeJonge
July-December 2018, 32(2):56-61
Introduction: The objective of this study was to compare fundamental frequency (F0) during vowel phonation, reading, and monolog in Indian Hindi speakers as compared to native English speakers. Methods: Thirty normal, age-matched native English and 30 Indian Hindi speakers participated in the study. Participants' F0values were extracted from samples obtained during sustained/a/, reading, and monolog. Analyses centered on F0differences during (a) sustained/a/, comparing native English and Hindi speakers; (b) reading and monolog production, comparing native English and Hindi speakers speaking English and Hindi, respectively; (c) reading and monologs, comparing native English versus Hindi speakers speaking English; and (d) Hindi participants speaking English versus the same participants speaking Hindi. Results: Analyses did not reveal significant differences between F0during sustained/a/for native English and Hindi speakers. All other comparisons, which involved reading and monolog, revealed significantly higher F0in Hindi speakers. Relationships between language learning variables and mean F0were statistically insignificant. Conclusions: The finding of equivalent F0for sustained vowel phonation across groups, in comparison to between- and within-group differences for reading and monolog tasks, suggests that F0differences that were found were largely linguistically determined. Proposals are provided for evaluating additional anatomical and cultural factors determining F0.
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Readability ease of online hearing-related information in Hindi
Seema Diwan, Rebecca J Kelly Campbell
July-December 2018, 32(2):62-66
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess the readability of hearing-related Internet information in Hindi language. Methods: Native Hindi speakers identified five Hindi keywords relating to hearing problems that were used to search for hearing-related web pages. These key terms were entered one by one into Google Bharat, the Hindi version of Google India. The uniform resource locators were recorded for the first ten web pages resulting from that search. Each web page was assessed according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The reading grade level (RGL) for the resulting 25 web pages were analyzed using Readability Hindi 1 (RH1) and Readability Hindi 2 (RH2) formulas. The paragraphs with lowest and highest RGL were identified and used for a cloze test. Ten participants were recruited after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. They were instructed to complete the cloze test. Results: The mean RGL of hearing-related web pages published in Hindi was not significantly different from the recommended value. The mean RGL calculated by RH1 was significantly higher than the mean RGL calculated by RH2; however, there was a significant and positive correlation between the RGL values calculated by RH1 and RH2. No significant differences in cloze scores were found between the paragraph with the highest RGL and the paragraph with the lowest RGL. Conclusions: The RGL calculated by the formulas was within the recommended value, which indicates the hearing-related material available on the Internet in Hindi is easy to read. However, the results of readability ease calculated by the cloze test suggested that the paragraphs with maximum RGL and minimum RGL were not significantly different from each other.
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Dysphagia research in India: A status report
Gayathri Krishnan, SP Goswami
July-December 2018, 32(2):39-46
In India, the field of dysphagia is still in its infancy. This study attempted to make a baseline assessment of the status of dysphagia research reported from India in the global scenario. A search in the most popular search engines and databases for research originated in India was conducted. Among the 2436 reports retrieved, 64 reports were included in this study. A two-tier analysis revealed the various characteristics of Indian research, and researchers involved in this science. Initiated less than two decades ago, dysphagia research in India has been on a steady increase. Unfortunately, 23.44% of them remain unpublished and unavailable for other researchers. Although there is a growing interest, dysphagia is still unexplored and has a long way to grow in India. The numerous gaps identified in this study provide a new direction for researchers in dysphagia and also enlighten the Indian researchers about their contribution to the global scenario.
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