First information parents receive after UNHS detection of their baby's hearing loss

Liesbeth Matthijs*, Gerrit Loots, Kimberley Mouvet, Mieke Van herreweghe, Stefan Hardonk, Geert Van hove, Martine Van puyvelde, Greg Leigh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The first information parents receive after referral through Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) has significant consequences for later care-related decisions they take and thus for the future of the child with a hearing loss. In this study, 11 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of Flemish service providers to discover (a) the content of the information provided to parents and (b) the service providers' assumptions and beliefs concerning deafness and care. To do this, we conducted an interpretative phenomenological analysis, followed by a discourse analysis. Results showed that parents receive diverse information, depending on the reference center to which they are referred. Moreover, all service providers used a medical discourse. We suggest that there is value to be gained from closer consideration of the nature of follow-up services provided in response to UNHS in Flanders and from auditing the professional preparation of service providers that are involved in providing information to parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-401
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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