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Pediatric physicians’ referral of children aged 0-3 years for audiological evaluation in the public health care sector

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Author(s): Amisha Kanji | Razeena Kara

Journal: Audiology Research
ISSN 2039-4330

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e7;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: pediatric physician | referral | audiological evaluation.

ABSTRACT
The current study aimed to determine the current practice of pediatric physicians in the referral of children (0-3 years) for further audiological evaluation in the South African public health care sector. Sixty three pediatric physicians comprising of pediatricians, neonatologists, medical officers, registrars and interns from three academic hospitals completed a self- administered questionnaire. Most participants reported referrals to an audiologist when hearing loss was suspected. An average of eight risk factors for hearing loss listed on the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) 2007 position statement were identified by participants, indicating the need for referral. Generally, participants reported that referral/s occurred easily within the respective hospitals. Results highlight that pediatric physicians are aware of the role that audiologists play in the diagnosis and management of hearing loss, are involved in the referral of children that are at risk for hearing loss, and have awareness of some of the known risk factors associated with hearing loss. Further education regarding other risk factors is required in order to increase referral/s, and ensure appropriate referral of children at risk for hearing loss.
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