Audiologists’ perspectives on management of mild bilateral hearing loss in infants and young children

Teresa Y. C. Ching*, Michelle Saetre-Turner, Vivienne Marnane, Nerina Scarinci, Chermaine Choik, Kristen Tulloch, Valerie Sung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Universal newborn hearing screening programs have led to early identification of infants with congenital mild bilateral hearing loss (MBHL). The current lack of evidence-based protocols to guide audiological management of infants with MBHL has led to clinical equipoise about fitting of hearing aids. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding about the perspectives of paediatric audiologists on factors influencing their management of MBHLin infants and young children. Design: A qualitative descriptive research methodology involving semi-structured interviews with audiologists. Study sample: Twenty-three paediatric audiologists in diagnostic and rehabilitation settings in Victoria, Australia. Results: Three main themes that influenced management were identified. These include: (1) evidence, or the lack of it, influences audiologists’ practice; (2) audiologists recognise the need to be fluid; and (3) family characteristics and parents’ perspectives. “Audiologists delivering family-centred practice” was identified as an overarching theme across these factors. Conclusions: Audiologists recognised the importance of adopting a family-centred approach in their management of MBHL in infants and young children. Embodied in their practice was the acknowledgement of limited evidence, the consideration of multiple child and family factors, and the incorporation of perspectives of parents and families in adopting a fluid approach to provide individualised services.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • mild bilateral hearing loss
  • young children
  • audiologists
  • audiological management
  • qualitative research

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