The pediatric audiology landscape changed dramatically with the advances in screening and diagnostic procedures, amplification possibilities and early identification outcomes. Pediatricians play a key role in this rapidly developing field. The aim of this study was to investigate Pediatricians’ knowledge and attitudes regarding the diagnosis and intervention of infants and children with a sensorineural hearing loss. A questionnaire was compiled to obtain the relevant empirical data. This was distributed to 257 pediatricians in the Gauteng Province. Of the 257 questionnaires only 47 could be utilised. According to the results obtained from the pediatricians it appears that the respondents possess adequate knowledge regarding the diagnosis and intervention of infants and children with sensorineural hearing loss. This is despite having received limited or no information and training on this subject. As is discussed in Chapter 4 it became evident that knowledge gaps were found to exist. The pediatrician is an important team member of the hearing intervention team. Their involvement is crucial and their referral can be the important stepping-stone for early identification and intervention. A lack of skills and proficient knowledge is a major constraint during the implementation of efficient primary health care services in developing countries. Throughout the results of this study, it is found that pediatricians have a need for additional information and training in the intervention process of infants and children with sensorineural hearing loss, therefore showing a positive attitude towards continuous education. This is based on the results found throughout the study, in terms of a void in certain areas surrounding effective intervention of hearing loss. The aim of the study was to highlight areas of uncertainty that the respondents might experience and to provide educational programmes in order to equip them with the relevant knowledge with regards to sensorineural hearing loss. The findings of this study would hopefully encourage future research and a more in-depth study regarding this topic.
Dissertation (M (Communication Pathology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.