Original Research

Establishing a pharmacotherapy induced ototoxicity programme within a service-learning approach

Natalie Schellack, Anna M. Wium, Katerina Ehlert, Yolande van Aswegen, Andries Gous
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 62, No 1 | a96 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v62i1.96 | © 2015 Natalie Schellack, Anna M. Wium, Katerina Ehlert, Yolande van Aswegen, Andries Gous | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 June 2014 | Published: 17 June 2015

About the author(s)

Natalie Schellack, Department of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Anna M. Wium, Discipline of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Katerina Ehlert, Discipline of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Yolande van Aswegen, Department of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Andries Gous, Department of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa


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Abstract

Pharmacotherapy-induced ototoxicity is growing, especially in developing countries such as South Africa. This highlights the importance of ototoxicity monitoring and management of hearing loss. This article focuses on the establishment of an ototoxicity clinic as a site for the implementation of a service-learning module in the Audiology programme. The clinic offers a unique opportunity of collaboration between pharmacists and an audiologist where pharmacotherapy-induced ototoxicity is uniquely monitored. The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) provides training to both the disciplines audiology and pharmacy. The main aim of this article is to describe how ototoxicity monitoring is implemented in the curriculum within such an academic service-learning approach. Through service learning students develop a deeper understanding of course content, acquire new knowledge and engage in civic activity. It simultaneously provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration between the disciplines of audiology and pharmacy. The objectives for this programme are therefore to facilitate learning and to provide a service to the local community by identifying, preventing and monitoring medicine-induced hearing loss in in-hospital and out-patients; as well as to establish inter-disciplinary collaboration between the disciplines and stakeholders for more effective service delivery. The constant interdisciplinary teamwork between the audiologist, pharmacist, physician and nursing staff in the wards results in best practice and management of patients with ototoxic damage.

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