Perspectives of Dutch health professionals regarding auditory processing disorders; a focus group study

Karin Neijenhuis, Ellen de Wit, Margreet Luinge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the perspectives of professionals from the Dutch audiological centres on the definition and care pathways of children with suspected auditory processing disorders (susAPD).

DESIGN: focus group interviews.

STUDY SAMPLE: In total, 45 professionals from 6 disciplines, representing 22 different audiological centres and one ambulatory service, participated in five parallel focus group interviews. Participants had a variety of experience in diagnosing and advising children with suspected APD.

RESULTS: Qualitative analysis (open and thematic) identified four themes ("Definition", "Causes", "Diagnostic Procedures" and "Clinical Reasoning") expressing a variety of perspectives. Differences in perspectives were mainly affected by two debates: (1) whether or not APD exists as a pure (auditory) disorder and (2) whether or not current AP-tests are suitable in diagnosing children with listening difficulties. They also expressed a need for more guidance from the literature in their clinical decision making process.

CONCLUSIONS: Professionals from the Dutch audiological centres share a broad perspective on children with APD. The ICF framework supports this perspective, thereby diminishing the need for a clear definition. The use of AP-tests should be limited to children where broader developmental disorders are first ruled out; a possible "pure" APD could then be diagnosed in a limited number of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-950
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2017


  • auditory processing disorders
  • attention
  • audiologists
  • children
  • cognition
  • congresses (form)
  • hearing tests
  • netherlands
  • neuropsychological tests
  • psychology
  • risk factors
  • social workers
  • speech perception


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