Flores, Martin, and Champlin (1996) moved into studying the application of Spanish speech tests in a clinical setting. Their study involved audiologists from across five states with the highest reported Spanish speaking population at that time: New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas, and Colorado (Flores, 1996). 35% of audiologists from each of the aforementioned states were chosen randomly to participate in the 26-question survey that requested information about current clinical approaches to providing audiological services to their respective Spanish populations (Flores, 1996). The majority of respondents were not fluent in Spanish, worked in private practice, and stated they only occasionally provided services to Spanish speakers and did so using various means (Flores, 1996). In Flores’s et al. (1996) study some of the examples that the audiologists provided for testing Spanish patients included translators, either family or professional in nature, gestures and limited language skills, and recorded speech materials. There were very few audiologists to report that they were fluent in the language at only 8%, there were 20% of somewhat fluent audiologists, and a majority of 72% that were not fluent at all (Flores, 1996). The findings of the Flores et al. (1996) study found that the profession would benefit from better training in clinically testing Spanish speaking clients, and reducing the dependence on untrained translators, as well as adding key Spanish phrases to their vocabulary.
Hapsburg, Champlin, and Shetty (2004) performed early research in testing bilingual Spanish speakers. The Hapsburg et al. (2004) study gathered twenty normal hearing adult subjects from the region surrounding A...
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...that these studies brings to light is the lack of consistency, throughout the development of Spanish speech testing materials it is understandable that there were inconsistencies with the approach. However, at this point in time it would seem necessary to further review existing testing to evaluate what the best protocol is in testing these patients.
Some additional conclusion questions drawn from the aforementioned studies include: is there a preferred Spanish speech test, is it important to also provide instructions in Spanish, if so, would it be better for the clinician to train themselves in the instructions or to have those pre-recorded as well, also, are there major dialectal differences, lastly in regions where Spanish is heavily spoken should it be a requirement that education programs in audiology offer a course. These questions warrant further research.
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