David A. Zapala, Ph.D.
Hearing and balance problems are typically the result of benign conditions. However, they can also be signs of serious, life-threatening disease. Accurately distinguishing between life-threatening diseases and benign conditions must occur before a person chooses to use hearing aids or other non-medical treatments.
The research of David A. Zapala, Ph.D., improves physicians' and audiologists' ability to make this determination so that individuals seeking non-medical treatments, such as hearing aids, can do so safely.
Significance to patient care
The overall aim of Dr. Zapala's research is to improve patient care through better clinical decision making (efficient and accurate diagnosis). When a person has a hearing or balance problem, he or she often complains of symptoms that can indicate the presence of several different diseases.
Dr. Zapala develops new tests and assessment techniques, supported by refined statistical models, that help clinicians establish the probability of each possible disease given a person's symptoms and test results.
Audiology–Auditory neuroscience, auditory perception and hearing aid prosthetics; Collateral areas: basic neuroscience (University of Tennessee Medical School), perceptual and neuro-psychology
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