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Risks for communication delays and disorders in infants in an urban primary healthcare clinic

D Claassen
J Pieterse
J van der Linde
E Kruger
B Vinck


Background. Many risk factors may result in a communication delay. Reliable identification methods are essential to identify infants at risk of communication difficulties in the primary healthcare context. Literature on identifying both at-risk and established risk factors associated with communication disorders in South Africa is limited.
Objective. To identify and describe risk factors for communication delays in infants 0 - 12 months of age at Daspoort Polyclinic in Gauteng.
Methods. A structured interview schedule was utilised to conduct an interview with the caregiver participants. Convenience sampling was used to select 96 caregiver participants.
Results. The results obtained indicated that all infant participants presented with exposure to one or more risk factors that may possibly impact communication development. High frequencies of risk factors included colds and/or flu during pregnancy, previous miscarriages, maternal smoking, low educational levels and unemployment.
Conclusion. The high frequency of at-risk conditions within the Daspoort population justifies the importance of implementation of early communication intervention services in primary healthcare.

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eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032