Audiologists’ perceived value of ototoxicity management and barriers to implementation for at-risk cancer patients in VA: the OtoMIC survey

Dawn Konrad-Martin, Rachel Polaski, J. Riley DeBacker, Sarah M. Theodoroff, Angela Garinis, Cecilia Lacey, Kirsten Johansson, Rosemarie Mannino, Trisha Milnes, Michelle Hungerford, Khaya D. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Platinum-based chemotherapies used to treat many types of cancers are ototoxic. Ototoxicity management (OtoM) to mitigate the ototoxic outcomes of cancer survivors is recommended practice yet it is not a standard part of oncologic care. Although more than 10,000 patients each year are treated with platinum-based chemotherapies at the US Veterans Health Administration (VA), the current state of OtoM in VA is not well-defined. This study reports on a national survey of VA audiologists’ perceptions regarding OtoM in cancer patients. Methods: A 26-item online survey was administered to VA audiologists and service chiefs across the VA’s 18 regional systems of care. Descriptive statistics and deductive thematic analysis were used to analyze the data. Results: The 61 respondents included at least one from each VA region. All reported they felt some form of OtoM was necessary for at-risk cancer patients. A pre-treatment baseline, the ability to detect ototoxicity early, and management of ototoxic effects both during and after treatment were considered high value objectives of OtoM by respondents. Roughly half reported routinely providing these services for patients receiving cisplatin and carboplatin. Respondents disagreed regarding appropriate hearing testing schedules and how to co-manage OtoM responsibilities with oncology. They identified barriers to care that conformed to three themes: care and referral coordination with oncology, audiology workload, and lack of protocols. Conclusions: Although VA audiologists value providing OtoM for cancer patients, only about half perform OtoM for highly ototoxic treatment regimens. The OtoMIC survey provides clinician perspectives to benchmark and address OtoM care gaps. Implications for cancer survivors: Collaboration between oncology and audiology is needed to improve current OtoM processes, so that cancer survivors can have more control over their long term hearing health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Drug monitoring
  • Drug-related side effects and adverse reactions
  • Hearing loss
  • Ototoxicity
  • Professional practice gaps
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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