Health SA Gesondheid

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Are parents of children with cochlear implants coping?: research

Reena Calien, Rene Hugo


Many variables must be considered during the evaluation and rehabilitation of children for cochlear implantation, one of which is parental influence (for the duration of this report the parents, caregivers and guardians of children with cochlear implants and / or hearing impairments will be referred to as 'parents'). The aim of this study was to obtain a description of the influence that parental knowledge and attitudes have concerning cochlear implants, the implant program, and communication development. A self-administered questionnaire was utilised to obtain data. Of the 33 questionnaires distributed, 17 were returned and used for data recording and analysis procedures. The results obtained indicate that most of the parents have sufficient knowledge and appropriate attitudes. Some areas of ignorance do however exist. There were only a small number of parents who were aware of the importance of selection criteria characteristics and factors that could influence implant performance. The parents were generally satisfied with the services that were supplied by the cochlear implant team, but they did identify some shortcomings in the team structure. Firstly, the parents felt that paediatricians needed to be more involved in the implantation and rehabilitation process. Secondly, they also expressed a need for the cochlear implant team to make a more conscious effort of including school personnel in the education and training of factors related to the cochlear implant. A significant factor that is confirmed by this research is the need for further investigation of parents as influential variables in the development of their implanted children's auditory, language and communication skills.

Baie veranderlikes moet in ag geneem word tydens die evaluasie en rehabilitasie van kinders met kogleêre inplantings. Een hiervan is die invloed van die ouer. Die doel van hierdie studie was om 'n beskrywing van ouers se kennis van, en houding teenoor kogleêre inplantings, die inplantingsprogram, en kommunikasie-ontwikkeling te bepaal. Vraelyste is vir data-insameling gebruik. Van die 33 vraelyste wat versprei is, is 17 teruggestuur. Die data-ontleding toon dat die meeste ouers voldoende kennis en toepaslike houdings het. Enkele kennis leemtes is wel geïdentifiseer. Daar was slegs 'n paar ouers wat bewus was van die belangrikheid van seleksie-kriteria, en die faktore wat inplantingsprestasie kan beinvloed. Die ouers was oor die algemeen tevrede met die diens wat die inplantingspan verskaf het, maar was van mening dat die spanstruktuur uitgebrei behoort te word. Eerstens is aangedui dat die pediater meer in die inplantings-en rehabilitasieproses betrokke behoort te wees. Tweedens het ouers ook aangedui dat daar 'n behoefte is vir die kogleêre inplantingspan om meer bewuste pogings aan te wend om skoolpersoneel in die program in te sluit. 'n Belangrike element wat deur hierdie studie bevestig is, is dat daar nog 'n behoefte is om ouers as invloedryk veranderlike in hulle geïmplanteerde kind se ouditiewe, taal en kommunikasie-ontwikkeling na te vors.

(Health SA Gesondheid: interdisciplinary research journal: 2002 7(2): 68-77)

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