Audiology Associates - Consult
Abingdon ENT Associates
June 7, 2021

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Audiology Associates: Elevating patient care through cognitive screening

There are several factors that differentiate Audiology Associates in northern California from the competition, including nearly 40 years of experience, a comprehensive marketing strategy, and its proprietary MA5P METHODTM, which is a scientific and effective approach to offering world-class audiology care. And now, the practice recently added cognitive screenings as part of its overall testing protocol with Cognivue Thrive – elevating its patient care and adding another differentiator. Cognivue Thrive is the world's first FDA-cleared computerized test of cognitive function. By assessing a person’s ability to process information, Cognivue allows audiologists to detect early cognitive decline and potentially slow its progression through hearing aids and other rehabilitation services for hearing loss. The practice’s Owner and Director of Audiology Services, Dr. Peter Marincovich, Ph.D., talked to us about the benefits of promoting cognitive health in an audiology clinic and offered recommendations on how to properly implement cognitive testing to achieve greater clinical outcomes.

With help, patients may not have to experience long-term memory fatigue and their brain won’t have to work as hard. I often hear patients say, “I have more energy now at the end of the day!
Dr. Peter Marincovich, Ph.D.

Q&A with Dr. Peter Marincovich, Ph.D.,
Owner & Director of Audiology Services

1When and why did you decide to include cognitive screening as part of your overall testing protocol and invest in Cognivue Thrive?
We started in late 2020. Diagnostic hearing evaluations need to be ramped up to another level. We need to do more testing to determine how patients perceive speech and receive sound. Cognitive screening is an additional tool to help us evaluate how a patient is performing.
2Do you recommend testing to all patients or are there only certain types of patients who are ideal candidates?
We use it with patients of all ages and all types of hearing loss, but it’s especially important for patients who are experiencing challenges such as daily fatigue from listening effort, trouble remembering things, difficulty following conversations, or those who feel like it’s more difficult to pay attention to hobbies and social events.
3Have you found that evidence of cognitive decline makes a significant difference in a patient’s willingness to accept treatment for their hearing loss?
Patients are not usually reluctant to purchase hearing aids after seeing the results of their cognitive tests. They understand that it’s important to keep the auditory system active. The brain may experience cognitive overload from overcompensating for hearing loss. With help, patients may not have to experience long-term memory fatigue and their brain won’t have to work as hard. I often hear patients say, “I have more energy now at the end of the day!”
4Do you have any recommendations for other providers who are thinking about introducing cognitive screening in their practices?
I would definitely recommend having a separate assessment for the patient to complete regarding cognitive ability related to hearing loss. I would also recommend retesting at a certain point in time. It’s important to review the test results with patients and their loved ones - so make sure they are present. Ask patients for permission to share the results with their primary care physician. Upon agreement, review the results with the physician and educate them so you can work together to help the patient.