Abstract

Background: The use of cochlear implants has been a remarkable success in reducing disabilities in those with impaired hearing, which have made a significant change in the patients’ quality of life. Only by relying on cochlear implants, disabilities cannot be eliminated in the hearing impaired, and, alongside this intervention, rehabilitation practices such as through family and community support are necessary. 

Aim: To explain the needs of parents of children with cochlear implants to increase the quality of rehabilitation services and family-based interventions. 

Methods: A descriptive phenomenology study was performed with the participation of 16 people, including eight mothers, three fathers, and five experts involved with the rehabilitation of children aged 2-7 years with cochlear implants. The research setting was centers with speech therapy service providers for hearing-impaired children in the city of Shiraz (Iran) in 2015. Information was gathered through in-depth interviews with participants and analyzed by using Colaizzi’s nine-step analysis method and MAXQDA (Ver10) applications. 

Results: The mean age of participants was 34 years, and the average age of diagnosis of hearing problems in children was 12 months. The obtained data from the analysis of interviews about the needs of parents of children with cochlear implants were categorized into 19 sub-contents and five contents, as follows: the need for access to health care services; psychological needs; mood-related needs of a child; educational needs and financial requirements.

Conclusion: Parents of children with cochlear implants have numerous needs, and they encounter problems based on their situation and experiences. The results indicate the necessity of close cooperation among different professionals such as an audiologist, pediatrician, psychologist, and speech therapist for the program’s success.

 

Keywords: Needs, Parents, Cochlear Implants, Speech Therapy
 
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