Original Research

Exploring quality of life post sudden onset hearing loss: A convergent parallel approach

Liepollo Ntlhakana, Sabeehah Hamid
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 71, No 1 | a990 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v71i1.990 | © 2024 Liepollo Ntlhakana, Sabeehah Hamid | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2023 | Published: 16 February 2024

About the author(s)

Liepollo Ntlhakana, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sabeehah Hamid, Department of Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Sudden onset hearing loss (SOHL) is rare and presents differently to individuals; hence, it is complex to diagnose. The impact on the quality of life (QoL) varies for individuals and their support structure. However, the exploration of research designs is warranted.

Objectives: This study explored the lived experiences of adults post-SOHL diagnosis and the impact on the QoL. Facilitators of emotional and social aspects of counselling provided by audiologists post-SOHL diagnosis were established.

Method: This was a convergent parallel research study. Data were collected from the two primary participants and three secondary participants, face-to-face and telephonically. The Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults (HHIA) screening tool and the semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. The data sets were analysed independently, viz. descriptive analysis and thematic analysis, to confirm the impact on the QoL post-SOHL diagnosis.

Results: The HHIA scores obtained were 84% and 50% for P1 and P2, respectively. Key themes that emerged from the interviews revealed that communication difficulties mostly impacted the QoL, which in turn influenced their mental and social well-being. Aural rehabilitation was perceived as ineffective support, thus the inability to reduce the impact on the QoL post-SOHL diagnosis.

Conclusion: The integrated findings indicated the impact on the QoL post-SOHL diagnosis. Convergent parallel methods should be considered by researchers to understand rare auditory pathologies and their impact on the QoL.

Contribution: Person-centred care (PCC) and family-centred care (FCC) are facilitators of counselling that audiologists can employ as QoL management strategies post-SOHL diagnosis.


Keywords

sudden onset hearing loss; quality of life; counselling; convergent parallel; family-centred care; adults

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