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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-60

In pursuit of preventive audiology in South Africa: Scoping the context for ototoxicity assessment and management

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Katijah Khoza-Shangase
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpbs.JPBS_334_19

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Aim: The study explored the South African healthcare context for ototoxicity assessment and management from the audiologists’ perspectives. Materials and Methods: This was done through a survey research methodology that adopted a cross-sectional research design. South African audiologists were recruited from professional associations databases using specific inclusion criteria; and 31 audiologists from across the country participated. The study used an 18-item web-based survey guided by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) (2018) guidelines. Data were analyzed through both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Findings revealed serious contextual challenges influencing the implementation of assessment and management programs within the South African context. Over two-thirds of the participants engage with ototoxicity monitoring and management, but the practices adopted are not aligned to international standards nor the national HPCSA guidelines on assessment and management of patients on ototoxic medications. Findings speak to the frequency of practice; the referral pathways audiologists use; prevention and promotion methods used; availability of resources for the implementation of ototoxicity assessment and management; barriers to ototoxicity assessment and management; the influence of language and culture in ototoxicity assessment and management; as well as information management practices within this context. No relationship could be established between knowledge regarding ototoxicity, communication, caseload, and ototoxicity assessment and management on the chi-square. Conclusion: Implications for strategic planning, budget allocation, collaborative multidisciplinary within the same institution approaches; training; policy formulation; and translation of policies and guidelines into practice are raised by these findings.

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