Article  |   June 2008
Parents’ Needs Following Identification of Childhood Hearing Loss
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Fitzpatrick
    University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Doug Angus
    University of Ottawa
  • Andrée Durieux-Smith
    University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
  • Ian D. Graham
    University of Ottawa and Ottawa Health Research Institute
  • Doug Coyle
    University of Ottawa and Ottawa Health Research Institute
  • Contact author: Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road (3071), Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8M5, Canada. E-mail: elizabeth.fitzpatrick@uottawa.ca.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention
Article   |   June 2008
Parents’ Needs Following Identification of Childhood Hearing Loss
American Journal of Audiology, June 2008, Vol. 17, 38-49. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/005)
History: Received November 23, 2006 , Revised May 16, 2007 , Accepted September 20, 2007
American Journal of Audiology, June 2008, Vol. 17, 38-49. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/005)
History: Received November 23, 2006; Revised May 16, 2007; Accepted September 20, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose: Appropriate support for families of children diagnosed with hearing impairment may have a direct impact on the success of early hearing detection and intervention programs in reducing the negative effects of permanent hearing loss. We conducted a qualitative study to explore parents’ needs after learning of their child’s hearing loss to better understand the important components of service delivery from families’ perspectives.

Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 17 families (21 parents) of preschool children in 4 centers in Ontario, Canada. Parents of children identified by neonatal screening as well as those identified through traditional referral routes participated. We asked parents to share their perceptions of the strengths and gaps in the care system.

Results: Although the majority of parents were satisfied with the range and quality of audiology and therapy services available, they identified gaps in the areas of service coordination, availability of information, and the integration of social service and parent support into the system. Access to audiology services appears to have been facilitated for children who were systematically screened.

Conclusions: The findings provide insights into the services most valued by families. These findings highlight the importance of eliciting parents’ perspectives in designing optimal care models for children and families.

Acknowledgments
Appreciation is expressed to the families who so willingly participated in this research and to the clinics that collaborated: Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Learning to Listen Foundation, Hospital for Sick Children, and the University of Western Ontario. The authors wish to thank Deirdre Neuss for reviewing data codes. This work was supported through doctoral fellowships for the first author from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from Advanced Bionics. We also thank Joanne Whittingham for assistance and acknowledge funding support from the Canadian Language and Literacy Network and the Masonic Foundation of Ontario.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access