PURPOSE : The purpose of this research was to apply multiple perspectives as part of
a systematic review to analyse the literature regarding ethics in audiology.
Audiologists are particularly vulnerable to the changing requirements of the discipline
that compel them to straddle both professional obligations and business principles,
creating a ‘hybrid’ professional.
METHOD : A two-phase mixed method approach was used to analyse publications.
Publications were sorted into categories, namely approach to ethics, author, decade,
role of the audiologist, component of morality, and common themes. The sample
consisted of peer-reviewed papers cited in MEDLINE, CINAHL, ERIC, MasterFILE
Premier, E-Journals, Africa-Wide Information and Academic Search Premier
electronic database indexes, as well as non-peer-reviewed papers in the Seminars in
Hearing professional journal.RESULTS : The publications were predominantly philosophical, focused on the rehabilitative role of the audiologist, and addressed the moral judgement component
of moral behaviour.CONCLUSIONS : Despite the fact that knowledge of ethics grew
between 1980 and 2010, this retrospective analysis identified
gaps in current knowledge. Research is needed to address
the unique ethical problems commonly encountered in all
8 roles of the audiologist; patient perspectives on ethics;
ethical approaches; factors affecting moral judgment,
sensitivity, motivation, and courage; and cultural dimensions
of ethical practice in audiology.