J Am Acad Audiol 2022; 33(01): 036-044
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1735253
Research Article

Burnout in U.S. Audiologists

Madison Zimmer
1   Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Towson University, Towson, Maryland
Diana C. Emanuel
1   Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Towson University, Towson, Maryland
Nicholas S. Reed
2   Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
› Author Affiliations


Background Research on burnout in audiologists is limited, especially in the United States. Recent changes to the profession may have increased burnout.

Purpose The purpose was to investigate burnout in the U.S. audiologists in diverse work settings.

Research Design This study used three surveys: demographics/workplace stressors, Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and professional quality of life (ProQOL).

Study Sample Participants were 149 U.S. audiologists. Participants were diverse regarding experience, work setting, and location.

Data Collection and Analysis The first survey provided demographics, perspectives on over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, stressors, and stress rating. The MBI assessed three dimensions of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. The ProQOL assessed burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction. Analyses included descriptive and inferential statistics of quantitative data and thematic analysis of qualitative data.

Results Audiologists had low burnout, low compassion fatigue, and high compassion satisfaction. Experience was not related to stress rating; however, more experienced audiologists had greater compassion satisfaction and lower burnout, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization compared with less experienced audiologists. Concern about OTC hearing aids was associated with stress rating. Thematic analysis identified 11 stressors, with 50% of stressors classified under work duties, time, and patients.

Conclusion The U.S. audiologists had low burnout rates. Burnout was greatest in less experienced audiologists. Stress was not related to experience. Stressors included insufficient time to see patients, heavy caseload, time-consuming administrative tasks, pressure to sell hearing aids, and stressful interpersonal communication.

Financial Disclosure

Funding was provided by the Towson University Graduate Student Association.


Any mention of a product, service, or procedure in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology does not constitute an endorsement of the product, service, or procedure by the American Academy of Audiology.

Publication History

Received: 05 April 2021

Accepted: 19 July 2021

Article published online:
06 May 2022

© 2022. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.

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