Childhood Hearing Impairment: How Do Parents Feel About It?
Background Hearing impairment or deafness is a major disabling condition worldwide. Etiology of the hearing loss range from congenital to acquired, and includes common and preventable childhood infections like otitis media and meningoencephalitis. Morbidity and burden of hearing impairment on the children and their parents is enormous. This is because affected children have developmental delay in many domains including speech, cognition as well as behavioural and other aspects of psychosocial development. Early identification and effective treatment of hearing loss improves language, other forms of communication, and cognitive skills. This study was carried out to evaluate and ascertain the perception and attitude of parents of children with hearing impairment.
Material and Method This was a questionnaire based study of parents' perception and attitude about children with hearing impairment in the PortHarcourt metropolis from pt June 2011 to 31"t May2012.
Results Thirty seven parents of children with hearing impairment were studied. The parents demonstrated different attitudes towards the children. Majority, 34(94.59%) of them felt sad, others expressed anger. Twenty seven (72.97%) felt hearing loss was due to punishment from the "gods" for an evil deed by a family member. The attitude and feelings of parents included sadness, self blame and anger. Parents also believe that immediate cause is spiritual.
ConclusionThe public should be enlightened about common preventable causes so as to correct all negative attitudes about hearing loss I impairment.
Keyword: Hearing impairment; children; parents; perception and attitude.
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