Original Research

Audiologists’ 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 | a869 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v69i1.869 | © 2022 Kerusha Bhojraj, Vuyelwa Z. Peter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 2021 | Published: 08 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


Background: Counselling plays an integral part in the management of presbycusis and tinnitus. Counselling can be conducted by implementing patient-centred care (PCC), showing improved patient outcomes; however, it has been poorly implemented in healthcare in South Africa (SA), particularly in the field of audiology for this condition.

Objectives: This study aimed to report on audiologists’ presbycusis and tinnitus counselling practices as guided by the PCC framework within KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Method: Quantitative semi-structured online surveys were conducted using purposive sampling of 41 audiologists practising in both the public and private sectors within KZN.

Results: This study revealed that 7.3% (n = 3) of participants provided only compensation for hearing loss without counselling, and only 2.4% (n = 1) of participants offered group counselling. Apart from this, 7.9% (n = 3) reported that tools and resources in counselling were not useful, whilst 12.5% (n = 5) reported that counselling was not multiculturally sensitive. Furthermore, a p = 0.044 suggests the public sector reported a dire need for improved training in counselling as compared with the private sector.

Conclusion: Audiologists have been providing services within PCC to the best of their capabilities and their environments; however, there is still room to better implement PCC for improved patient outcomes. PCC has not been fully implemented into counselling practices in terms of patient preferences, emotional support, involvement of significant others, integrated care and education.


presbycusis; tinnitus; counselling; patient-centred care; counselling practices; multi-cultural


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