Original Research

Parental views on informational counselling provided by audiologists for children with permanent childhood hearing loss

Zandile M. Shezi, Lavanithum N. Joseph
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 68, No 1 | a799 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.799 | © 2021 Zandile M. Shezi, Lavanithum N. Joseph | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 October 2020 | Published: 25 May 2021

About the author(s)

Zandile M. Shezi, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Lavanithum N. Joseph, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The absence of best practice guidelines on informational counselling, has caused lack of clarity regarding the information audiologists should provide to parents and caregivers following the diagnosis of a hearing loss. Research shows that informational counselling provided by audiologists is limited and often biased, with little evidence of how parents experience this service.

Objectives: To explore the nature and practice of informational counselling by audiologists.

Method: This study was descriptive in nature and adopted a survey design to obtain information on the current practices of informational counselling from the perspective of parents and primary caregivers. Ninety-seven face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted across KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis using Nvivo software were conducted.

Results: The majority of the parents reported receiving some form of informational counselling. However, the information provided by audiologists was considered to be biased as it included a favoured communication option, school and rehabilitative technology. There was a lack of information related to aural rehabilitation and family-centred intervention. The provision of all communication options, school options and rehabilitative technology were identified as gaps that contribute to an unfavourable decision-making process.

Conclusion: There are inefficiencies experienced by families of deaf and hard of hearing children during informational counselling. However, this understanding, together with the identified gaps by parents, can help address the professional response to caring for families with deaf and hard of hearing children.


Keywords

informational counselling; communication options; aural rehabilitation; family-centred intervention; paediatric hearing loss

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