Original Research

A pilot study: Considering spirituality in an inclusive model of practice in clinical audiology

Dhanashree Pillay, Sharon Moonsamy
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 65, No 1 | a552 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v65i1.552 | © 2018 Dhanashree Pillay, Sharon Moonsamy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2017 | Published: 21 June 2018

About the author(s)

Dhanashree Pillay, Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Sharon Moonsamy, Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Background: A patient-orientated approach in medical clinical practice is emerging where patients and practitioners are considering and including the spiritual, emotional and psychosocial aspects of the individual. This practice is an important change in health care, specifically in the field of audiology as a holistic view of the patient now alters the perspective on the management of individuals with hearing impairments.


Objectives: This article explored the experiences of a participant who reported supernatural healing of his sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Hence, this study focuses on the consideration of spirituality in the inclusive model of care.


Method: An exploratory, qualitative narrative inquiry was used to obtain data from a single pilot case study of a 27-year-old man who reported healing of his permanent profound hearing loss.


Results: Four themes were identified within the narrative obtained: prayer and faith, deaf culture, identity and purpose. The participant stated that he believed that he was partially healed to fulfil his purpose in life. The partial healing allowed him to belong to the deaf community and the hearing world simultaneously.


Conclusion: South Africans live in a diverse society where most people accept spirituality as part of their search for meaning in life. Health care for individuals should therefore consider the person as a holistic being more than a medical entity. The exploration of narratives of individuals who report supernatural healing of a SNHL will assist health care practitioners and audiologists in managing individuals in an inclusive manner. This pilot study thus has implications for policy and practice in health care contexts.


Inclusive Audiology; Hearing Loss; Supernatural Healing; Spirituality


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