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South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046


EHLERT, Katerina  and  COETZER, Celeste. Maternal knowledge and views regarding early hearing detection and intervention in children aged 0-5 years at a semi-urban primary care clinic in South Africa. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2020, vol.67, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2225-4765.

BACKGROUND: South Africans have an increasing burden of hearing loss, especially in low-income rural areas. Limited information is available regarding caregivers' knowledge and views regarding infant hearing loss, which is essential for the successful implementation of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programmes.OBJECTIVES: The main aim of the study was to describe the knowledge and views of mothers with children aged between 0 and 5 years old regarding hearing screening, risk factors, symptoms of hearing loss, and intervention options for hearing lossMETHOD: A survey was employed at a primary care clinic to gain insight into the maternal views on hearing loss and early intervention services for children aged 0-5 years old.RESULTS: The majority (83.2%) of the mothers believed that hearing can be tested at birth, 90.7% believed in the biomedical model of intervention which is based on cure, prevention, and pathology as opposed to traditional or alternative medicinal beliefs, and 95.3% indicated that they would seek medical attention if they noticed symptoms of hearing loss. Consequences of hearing loss, such as academic, communication and social problems, were indicated by 65.4% of mothers.CONCLUSION: The findings demonstrated that although cultural beliefs regarding superstitious causes of hearing loss and use of traditional medicine exist, satisfactory maternal knowledge regarding detection and intervention for hearing loss is present. Maternal views are favourable and a general willingness to participate in EHDI programmes was present. This study advocates for the implementation of EHDI programmes at all primary healthcare clinics across South Africa.

Keywords : early hearing detection and intervention; maternal knowledge; maternal views; primary care clinic; hearing loss; developing country.

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