Perceptions of adult aural rehabilitation services for a patient with an acquired hearing loss post multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment: a case study.
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Background: There is a problem regarding the provision and accessibility of aural rehabilitation (AR) in South Africa (SA). Statistics suggest a discrepancy between number of audiologists in relation to nwnber of patients who present with an acquired hearing loss post multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment requiring AR services. Although there is evidence of patients receiving some form of AR, a gap in literature regarding the extent to which AR is provided post hearing aid fitting exists. Therefore, the objective of the study was to explore the perceptions of a single participant who had an acquired hearing loss post MDR-TB treatment towards adult AR services. Method: The participant, a 41-year-old female, was randomly selected from King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex (KDHC) based on the study's inclusion and exclusion criteria. As a result of MDR-TB treatment, she presented with a severe to profound hearing loss bilaterally and received hearing aids. A qualitative case study was adopted via a face to face semi-structured interview, using an interview schedule and audio recorder. Three interviews were conducted in total, with a duration of 8 hours 30 minutes. Data analysis was facilitated via thematic analysis. Results: The study's findings found that adult AR appears to be currently not facilitated at KDHC, especially for patients with hearing loss post MDR-TB treatment. The absence of intervention beyond hearing aid fittings contributed to the participant's lack of awareness regarding AR services. Although there was willingness to participate in AR, challenges were evident, such as transport constraints, communication partner non- attendance and health issues. Perceptions of adult AR services were established as helpful by the participant in assisting with better communication. Conclusion: There is a need for the provision of AR for patients with an acquired hearing loss post MDR-TB in SA. The lack of literature pertaining to AR service provision in SA is highlighted. It is hoped that by more audiologists being involved in providing AR services, more patients become aware of such services and therefore interested to participate. Study implications and recommendations are discussed.