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Family-Perceived Barriers and Facilitators Toward a Tele-Audiology Infant Diagnostic Testing Approach in Victoria, Australia

HumanInsight Family-Perceived Barriers and Facilitators Toward a Tele-Audiology Infant Diagnostic Testing Approach in Victoria, Australia

Telemed J E Health. 2024 Mar 25. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2023.0652. Online ahead of print.


Background: Universal newborn hearing screening programs allow for early identification of congenital hearing loss. However, some families experience difficulties accessing diagnostic audiology services following a refer screen result. Methods: This study aimed to assess the opinions of families who had experienced infant diagnostic audiology assessments regarding a telehealth option for these appointments within Victoria, Australia. Families who attended in-person infant diagnostic audiology appointments were sent a questionnaire exploring their experiences of the service and their opinion regarding a proposed telehealth option for infant diagnostic audiology (50 responses received). These results were also compared to those of families who were surveyed following testing in 2020, where the audiologist conducted the appointment remotely to comply with COVID-19-related social distancing recommendations at the time (10 responses received). Results: There were not significant differences between the duration or number of appointments, perceived understanding of results, or concerns regarding a tele-audiology model between families who experienced face-to-face and tele-audiology infant diagnostic audiology appointments. Opinions of infant diagnostic audiology appointments utilizing telehealth technology were largely positive, and minimal technological difficulties were identified. Conclusion: Overall positive attitudes of many families with infant diagnostic appointment experiences toward a tele-audiology option of this service suggest that offering a telehealth model of appointments may be an appropriate model to improve service access for families requiring infant diagnostic audiology in Victoria.

PMID:38527282 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2023.0652

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