Original Research - Special Collection: Occupational Hearing Loss in Africa

Burden of disease: A scoping review of HIV/AIDS and TB in occupational noise-induced hearing loss

Katijah Khoza-Shangase
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 67, No 2 | a669 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v67i2.669 | © 2020 Katijah Khoza-Shangase | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 August 2019 | Published: 03 March 2020

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Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Background: Occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) does not occur in isolation from other influencing factors such as health conditions and illnesses like human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV and AIDS), as well as tuberculosis (TB). How the burden of disease influences the occurrence and/or management of ONIHL becomes a key if the goal of hearing conservation programmes (HCPs) is to be achieved within these contexts.

Objectives: The purpose of this scoping review was to conduct an investigation on how the burden of disease’s influence on ONIHL is reported in literature, with a specific focus on the most prevalent diseases in South African mines – HIV and AIDS and TB.

Method: A scoping review was conducted using the Arksey and O’Malley’s framework. A search was conducted in five electronic bibliographic databases and the grey literature.

Results: The search procured 10 publications, with two specific to ONIHL within the South African context. In addition to the two publications specific to TB and ONIHL, findings revealed a serious gap in the evidence around the scoping review question globally. This obvious lack of investigations into the influence of these two conditions in the South African mining context raises serious implications about the responsiveness, and proactive nature of HCPs within this population.

Conclusion: Considering the burden of diseases on otology and audiology is critical as certain diseases cause hearing impairment either as a primary effect, as a secondary/opportunistic effect or as a side effect of treatment options for that disease. An employee suffering from any such disease with concomitant exposure to hazardous noise levels presents an even bigger challenge to HCPs if such is not taken into consideration in the conception, implementation and monitoring of HCPs.


Africa; Conservation; Disease; HIV and AIDS; Health; Hearing; Noise; Occupational; Burden; Tuberculosis


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