Report on the European Federation of Audiological Societies bi-annual congress and general assembly

The European Federation of Audiological Societies (http://www.efas.ws/index.htm) hosted their bi-annual congress and general assembly in Interlaken Switzerland on 7-10 June 2017.

The congress was attended by clinicians, researchers and students from all over Europe as well as Australia, the US, Israel, Turkey and South Africa. Key not talks included Dr Shelly Chadha from the WHO speaking about prevention of hearing loss and Professor Christine Petit, speaking about the genetics of hearing, Professor Tobias Moser speaking about light-based cochlear stimulation and Professor Ad Snick speaking about bone conduction hearing aids.  The 2019 EFAS congress will be in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr Piers Dawes attended the general assembly as UK/BSA representative. The general assembly received reports from the EFAS school age hearing screening group. The school age hearing screening group involves a working group of 8 European countries and aims to identify optimal hearing screening methods and collect evidence for school age hearing screening to inform policy in Europe. The group has commenced collection of pilot data comparing incidence of hearing problems identified by school age hearing screening verses newborn hearing screening in 5 (Finland, Romania, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium).

The EFAS working group on intellectual disability reported on completion of a survey of current practice in Europe. Based on responses from 23 European nations, current practice is limited and no no hearing screening programs for adults with intellectual disability were identified. The group is currently drafting recommendations for hearing screening and on-going audiological review for adults with learning disabilities. The group is working with the BSA’s Siobhan Brennan (CH SIG member and lead for the BSA’s learning disability guidelines, currently in development).

General assembly members voted on 3 proposals from Romania, Israel and Croatia for the 2021 EFAS congress. The 2021 congress will be in Croatia. Finally, Dr Francoise Sterkers-Artieres, an otolaryngologist based in Montpellier France, took over from Teresa Pitt (Cork, Ireland) as EFAS chair for a 2 year term.