Applying U.S. national guidelines for ototoxicity monitoring in adult patients: perspectives on patient populations, service gaps, barriers and solutions

Dawn Konrad-Martin, Gayla L. Poling, Angela C. Garinis, Candice E. Ortiz, Jennifer Hopper, Keri O’Connell Bennett, Marilyn F. Dille

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: To promote establishment of effective ototoxicity monitoring programs (OMPs), this report reviews the U.S. national audiology guidelines in relation to “real world” OMP application. Background is provided on the mechanisms, risks and clinical presentation of hearing loss associated with major classes of ototoxic medications. Design: This is a non-systematic review using PubMed, national and international agency websites, personal communications between ototoxicity experts, and results of unpublished research. Examples are provided of OMPs in various healthcare settings within the U.S. civilian sector, Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Study Sample: The five OMPs compared in this report represent a convenience sample of the programs with which the authors are affiliated. Their opinions were elicited via two semi-structured teleconferences on barriers and facilitators of OMP, followed by a self-administered questionnaire on OMP characteristics and practices, with responses synthesized herein. Preliminary results are provided from an ongoing VA clinical trial at one of these OMP sites. Participants were 40 VA patients who received cisplatin chemotherapy in 2014–2017. The study arms contrast access to care for OMP delivered on the treatment unit versus usual care as provided in the audiology clinic. Results: Protocols of the OMPs examined varied, reflecting their diverse settings. Service delivery concerns included baseline tests missed or completed after the initial treatment, and monitoring tests done infrequently or only after cessation of treatment. Perceived barriers involved logistics related to accessing and testing patients, such as a lack of processes to help patients enter programs, patients’ time and scheduling constraints, and inconvenient audiology clinic locations. Use of abbreviated or screening methods facilitated monitoring. Conclusions: The most effective OMPs integrated audiological management into care pathways of the clinical specialties that prescribe ototoxic medications. More OMP guidance is needed to inform evaluation schedules, outcome reporting, and determination of actionable ototoxic changes. Guidance is also lacking on the use of hearing conservation approaches suitable for the mass testing needed to support large-scale OMP efforts. Guideline adherence might improve with formal endorsement from organizations governing the medical specialty stakeholders in OMP such as oncologists, pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists, ototolaryngologists and pharmacists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S3-S18
JournalInternational journal of audiology
Issue numbersup4
StatePublished - Aug 24 2018


  • Otoxicity
  • conditions/pathology/disorders
  • hearing conservation/hearing loss prevention
  • hearing loss
  • medical audiology/pharmacology
  • ototoxicity monitoring
  • tele-audiology/tele-health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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