The Audiology group have conducted extensive research into issues concerning:

Research Coordinator

Associate Professor Sue McAllister - Visit staff profile - Email Sue

Auditory processing disorder in adults

Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a complex, multifactorial disorder of childhood which typically affects the early development of communication skills.

It's most pronounced effects are on learning and education achievement as well as the student's well-being in educational settings as a listener and learner. Variably it may also affect social development and social relationships.

Few, if any, longitudinal studies, either quantitative or qualitative, about individuals with APD exist.  Accordingly the natural history of the disorder largely remains to be described. 

To redress this important gap, Associate Professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Linnett Sanchez, is supervising several projects in this area.

Academic researchers from both Speech pathology and Audiology are involved in this project:

Associate Professor Linnett Sanchez, view Linnett's biography

Dr Willem van Steenbrugge, view Willem's biography

Dr Sarosh Kapadia, view Sarosh's biography

Dr Christopher Lind,  view Christopher's biography

Epidemiology of age-related hearing loss

The Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA) is Australia's first multi-dimensional population based study of human ageing. The ALSA commenced in 1992 (under the direction of the late Prof Gary Andrews), with 2087 participants aged 70 years or more.

Associate Professor Sanchez has been a co-investigator in this major longitudinal study since 1992, responsible for the survey and clinical assessment components of ALSA related to hearing. 

As a study, the ALSA is now entering its final years, but the large rich data set continues to provide a myriad of research opportunities in the epidemiology of age-related hearing loss, dual sensory loss in ageing, the relationships between cognition and sensory change, social networks and sensory abilities.

Associate Professor Linnett Sanchez, view Linnett's biography

Ear health and hearing in Indigenous school age children

Since 2003, Associate Professor Sanchez has led major project and research activity in this area with Flinders colleagues and student involvement.

Major research projects include the Flinders Swimming Pool Study (2009-2011). 

Much of the epidemiological work in the hearing of both remote and urban Indigenous children is in preparation for publication.

Associate Professor Linnett Sanchez, view Linnett's biography

Karen Sparrow, Lecturer, PhD candidate, view Karen's biography

Professor Simon Carney, ENT, Flinders University

Swimming pools and indigenous children's hearing

Swimming pools are not the answer to solving the horrific prevalence of middle ear disease afflicting Indigenous children in remote communities, a ground-breaking report from Flinders University reveals.

The Federally-funded study, conducted in South Australia’s Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and Yalata from 2009 to 2011, found chlorinated saltwater pools have no direct benefit on the ear health and hearing of school-aged Indigenous children.

The findings contradict an influential and widely-publicised 2003 Australian study which showed swimming pools in two Indigenous communities in remote Western Australia significantly reduced some ear disease in children.

Flinders University Associate Professor in Audiology Linnett Sanchez, the study’s chief investigator, said while swimming pools were “an incredibly important social and recreational asset”, they had no effect in reducing middle ear disease. Middle ear disease is a serious, long-term condition that affects alarmingly high numbers of remote Indigenous children.

Read the article Swimming pools don’t help Indigenous children’s hearing

Conversation analysis and hearing impairment

The most common problem reported by adults who have acquired hearing impairment is difficulty in everyday talk, especially with their family and friends. Research at Flinders has used Conversation Analysis to investigate patterns of talk, especially of breakdown and repair by which conversation involving adults who have hearing impairment might differ from conversation between adults who do not have hearing impairment.

Findings are amongst the first to identify qualitative and quantitative elements of repair behaviour that reflect the impact of hearing impairment on everyday talk. Following recent research findings suggesting an association between cognitive impairment and hearing impairment, our research is now being extended to include the impact of cognitive impairment and dementia on conversational ability.

     Dr Christopher Lind, view Christopher's biography