Original Research

Patient’s perceptions of presbycusis and associated tinnitus counselling practices within the KwaZulu-Natal province

Kerusha Bhojraj, Vuyelwa Z. Peter
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 69, No 1 | a868 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v69i1.868 | © 2022 Kerusha Bhojraj, Vuyelwa Z. Peter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 2021 | Published: 07 September 2022

About the author(s)

Kerusha Bhojraj, Department of Health, Durban, South Africa; and, Discipline of Audiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Vuyelwa Z. Peter, Discipline of Audiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Counselling manages the psychosocial effects of presbycusis and associated tinnitus, which is best conducted through patient-centred care (PCC). However, there is a paucity of research on implementing PCC within audiology and on patients’ perceptions of counselling practice, making the focus on patient benefit and satisfaction crucial. Furthermore, PCC has been documented to be suitable in addressing the psychosocial effects of hearing loss and associated tinnitus, as it focuses on the adult patient playing an integral part of the management processes, providing improved patient outcomes.

Objectives: This study aimed to explore patients’ perceptions of presbycusis and associated tinnitus counselling practices by audiologists within KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Method: Qualitative phenomenological semi-structured telephonic interviews were conducted through purposive sampling, consisting of seven patients with presbycusis and associated tinnitus who were recruited from private and public facilities in KZN. Data were analysed through hybrid thematic analysis following Braun and Clark’s steps.

Results: Six categories were identified: perceptions on counselling methods, efficacy and tools, audiological rehabilitative training, multicultural sensitivity, patient satisfaction and recommendations on improving counselling practices as PCC adaptation. Themes were then extracted from these categories. The overall outcome of the study found that patients had positive perceptions of methods and tools, and audiologists were viewed as adequately trained. Furthermore, they were satisfied and benefitted from counselling practices and found clinicians to be culturally sensitive in their practice. However, recommendations were made towards linguistic sensitivity and satisfaction evaluations.

Conclusion: Therefore, implementing PCC into counselling practice may achieve positive patient perceptions, thus highlighting the need to identify barriers and improve the implementation of PCC into practice, especially in resource-constrained contexts.


Keywords

patient outcomes; recommendations; patient-centred care; presbycusis; tinnitus

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