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South African Journal of Communication Disorders

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


KHATIB, Nuha  and  HLAYISI, Vera-Genevey. Is a hybrid of online and face-to-face services feasible for audiological rehabilitation post COVID-19? Findings from three public health patients. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2022, vol.69, n.2, pp.1-11. ISSN 2225-4765.

BACKGROUND: The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has pushed many audiologists to incorporate remote service delivery methods to adhere to mandatory health and safety protocols. The use of tele-audiology for audiological rehabilitation may provide a sustainable, cost-effective modality to suit the existing need, particularly in low-resourced countries OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of implementing a hybrid tele-rehabilitation programme in a South African public health context. An online auditory training (AT) programme was used to determine (1) compliance, (2) clinical benefit, (3) participant experience and (4) costs METHOD: A convergent mixed methods design with a feasibility approach was utilised. Data collection was done through questionnaires, in-booth assessments, online AT, and face-to-face interviewing. Participants undertook online AT over 4 weeks. For pre- and post-online AT, the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB), QuickSIN, entrance and exit questionnaires, interviews and a system usability scale were administered RESULTS: Key findings of this study included (1) a high compliance rate (84.82%) with minimal clinician contact time at 3 h 25 min over 5-6-weeks; (2) improvement in perceived hearing aid (HA) benefit, and improvement in listening skills; (3) reported positive experiences; and (4) minimal programme costs at an average of R1350.00 per participant CONCLUSION: The results showed positive indicators that the use of hybrid tele-rehabilitative strategies may provide a viable alternative to the traditional face-to-face modality. The hybrid approach showed clinical benefits, cost-effectiveness, minimal contact time as well as COVID-19 compliance. Further large-scale research is still needed

Keywords : tele-audiology; hybrid; COVID-19; public health; auditory training; hearing aids; adult; South Africa.

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