Maternal knowledge and views regarding early hearing detection and intervention in children aged 0–5 years at a semi-urban primary care clinic in South Africa

Katerina Ehlert*, Celeste Coetzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: South Africans have an increasing burden of hearing loss, especially in low-income rural areas. Limited information is available regarding caregivers’ knowledge and views regarding infant hearing loss, which is essential for the successful implementation of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programmes. Objectives: The main aim of the study was to describe the knowledge and views of mothers with children aged between 0 and 5 years old regarding hearing screening, risk factors, symptoms of hearing loss, and intervention options for hearing loss. Method: A survey was employed at a primary care clinic to gain insight into the maternal views on hearing loss and early intervention services for children aged 0–5 years old. Results: The majority (83.2%) of the mothers believed that hearing can be tested at birth, 90.7% believed in the biomedical model of intervention which is based on cure, prevention, and pathology as opposed to traditional or alternative medicinal beliefs, and 95.3% indicated that they would seek medical attention if they noticed symptoms of hearing loss. Consequences of hearing loss, such as academic, communication and social problems, were indicated by 65.4% of mothers. Conclusion: The findings demonstrated that although cultural beliefs regarding superstitious causes of hearing loss and use of traditional medicine exist, satisfactory maternal knowledge regarding detection and intervention for hearing loss is present. Maternal views are favourable and a general willingness to participate in EHDI programmes was present. This study advocates for the implementation of EHDI programmes at all primary healthcare clinics across South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera681
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalThe South African journal of communication disorders. Die Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir Kommunikasieafwykings
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Developing country
  • Early hearing detection and intervention
  • Hearing loss
  • Maternal knowledge
  • Maternal views
  • Primary care clinic

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