Completed Projects

Completed Projects

Development and Evaluation of Audiologic Rehabilitation Programming for Significant Others of Individuals with Hearing Loss.

  • Principal Investigator: Jill Preminger, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation; New Century Scholars Program
  • The purpose of this project is to determine whether training in communication strategies and psychosocial exercises for spouses of hearing handicapped individuals 1) increases the spouses awareness of their partner's hearing handicap, 2) decreases the hearing-related handicap associated with living with a partner with hearing loss as personally experienced by the spouses, and 3) decreases the hearing-handicap experienced by their partners with hearing loss. A randomized controlled study is being conducted to measure the effectiveness of group audiologic rehabilitation for individuals with hearing loss and their spouses. One group of individuals with hearing loss is participating in audiologic rehabilitation classes and their spouses are participating in classes designed specifically for them. A second group of individuals with hearing loss is participating in audiologic rehabilitation classes, but their spouses are not being offered any classes. Outcome evaluation will include measures of hearing handicap, marital communication and depression.
  • Preminger, J.E. (March 2009).  Spouse training and quality of life in hearing impaired people.  Podium presentation at the American Auditory Society Scientific Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Preminger, J.E. (April 2008). Hearing Handicap in People with Hearing Loss and Their Spouses. Podium presentation at the American Academy of Audiology, Charlotte, NC.
  • Preminger, J.E. (April 2008). Evaluation of AR for Spouses of People with Hearing Loss. Podium presentation at the American Academy of Audiology, Charlotte, NC.

The Efficacy of Group Aural Rehabilitation Programs

  • Principal Investigator: Jill Preminger, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: National Institute of Health – National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, RO3
  • In this project we are examining the efficacy of adult group aural rehabilitation training, for adults with hearing loss, offered in a classroom environment. Group aural rehabilitation classes may include training in speechreading, auditory perception, and communication strategies. Group classes offer an opportunity to teach general information about hearing loss and provide a forum in which adults with hearing loss can share information and emotional support. It is not known if group training in speechreading, auditory perception and/or communication strategies will lead to improved performance. It is not clear what component or components of the group aural rehabilitation class specifically lead to reduced hearing handicap. The results of the experiments will determine: 1) whether listeners with hearing loss who receive speechreading and auditory perception training over a 6-week period actually improve these abilities as measured by tests of visual and auditory speech perception; 2) whether group interaction within an aural rehabilitation class effects hearing handicap; and, 3) which aspect(s) of group aural rehabilitation classes provide benefit.
  • Shannon, J. & Preminger, J.E. (September 2008) Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of the Home-Based Computerized Auditory Training In Older Experienced Hearing Aid Users. Podium presentation at the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology Annual Institute, Portland, OR.
  • Preminger, J.E. & Ziegler, C.H. (2008) Can Auditory and Visual Speech Perception be Trained within a Group Setting? The American Journal of Audiology, 17(1), 80-97.
  • Campbell, M., Preminger, J.E. & Ziegler, C.H. (2007). The Effect of Age on Visual Enhancement in Adults with Hearing Loss.  Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, 40, 11-32.
  • Preminger, J.E. (2007). Issues associated with the measurement of psychosocial benefits of group audiologic rehabilitation programs. Trends in Amplification, 11(2), 113-124.


The Clinical Utility of Measuring Dead Regions.

  • Principal Investigator: Jill Preminger, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: The University of Louisville School of Medicine.
  • The purpose of these investigations were to determine the impact of auditory dead regions on: the audiogram, speech intelligibility, hearing aid satisfaction, and the hearing aid fitting. The results showed that the presence or absence of auditory dead regions cannot be predicted from the audiogram. Listeners with auditory dead regions have poorer sentence understanding in noise and poorer hearing aid satisfaction that listeners without dead regions. Preliminary work demonstrates inconsistent results for hearing aid fittings adjusted according to the location of an individual's dead regions.
  • Preminger, J.E., Carpenter, R., & Ziegler, C.H. (2005). A Clinical Perspective on Cochlear Dead Regions: Intelligibility of Speech and Subjective Hearing Aid Benefit. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 16, 600-613.


  • Learning practice management skills is an essential element of the Au.D. curriculum.  Whether an audiologist starts his/her own private practice or takes employment in a hospital, clinic or agency, s/he must know the fundamentals of budgeting, marketing, billings and collections, 3rd-party reimbursement, business law, etc.  Our program has been teaching a comprehensive "Practice Management" course for more than 25 years.
  • One of the students in the course, Jim Baer, decided to work with Dr. Cunningham to create a book chapter from the notes provided in the lectures.  Jim Baer, student, became Doctor Jim Baer upon graduation, and is now the Director of the Doctor of Audiology program at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.  Drs. Cunningham and Baer collaborated to produce the very first audiology practice management chapter in the well known text, Handbook of Clinical Audiology (6th edition). Here is the bibliographic citation:
  • Cunningham, DR and Baer, J.  "Building and Growing a Successful Audiology Practice."  Chapter 37 in Katz, J et al, editors.  Handbook of Clinical Audiology, (6th edition), Philadelphia, Pa., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009.


  • It is a well accepted fact that the early identification of hearing loss is essential to speech and language development.  The sooner that a hearing loss is discovered, the sooner appropriate rehabilitation can begin.  Audiologists are intent on identifying hearing loss before a newborn is discharged from the hospital.  Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, parental notification and careful follow-up are very important.  The goal is to screen by one month of age, complete the diagnosis by three months, and provide amplification by six months.
  • Dr. Cunningham had authored chapters on auditory screening in previous editions of the well known book, Textbook of Pediatric Care.  When he was asked to update the material and rewrite his chapter on auditory screening, Dr. Cunningham asked Au.D. student, Sarah Sydlowski, if she would like to collaborate.  This complete chapter revision became Sarah's 4th-year project.  Doctor Sarah Sydlowski went on to complete her externship at the Mayo Clinic, and is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate at Gallaudet University.  Here is the bibliographic citation:
  • Cunningham, DR and Sydlowski, S. "Auditory Screening." Chapter 19 in McInerny et al, editors.  American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care. Elk Grove, Ill.  American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.