Common Audiological Functional Parameters (CAFPAs)
Statistical and compact representation of rehabilitative audiological classification based on expert knowledge
Objective: As a step towards objectifying audiological rehabilitation and providing comparability between different test batteries and clinics, the Common Audiological Functional Parameters (CAFPAs) were introduced as a common and abstract representation of audiological knowledge obtained from diagnostic tests. Design: Relationships between CAFPAs as an intermediate representation between diagnostic tests and audiological findings, diagnoses and treatment recommendations (summarised as ""diagnostic cases"") were established by means of an expert survey. Expert knowledge was collected for 14 given categories covering different diagnostic cases. For each case, the experts were asked to indicate expected ranges of diagnostic test outcomes, as well as traffic light-encoded CAFPAs. Study sample: Eleven German experts in the field of audiological rehabilitation from Hanover and Oldenburg participated in the survey. Results: Audiological findings or treatment recommendations could be distinguished by a statistical model derived from the experts' answers for CAFPAs as well as audiological tests. Conclusions: The CAFPAs serve as an abstract, comprehensive representation of audiological knowledge. If more detailed information on certain functional aspects of the auditory system is required, the CAFPAs indicate which information is missing. The statistical graphical representations for CAFPAs and audiological tests are suitable for audiological teaching material; they are universally applicable for real clinical databases.