Exploring Factors Which Influenced Hearing Parents ’Decisions to Consent to Paediatric Cochlear Implantation
Honeycombe, Ruth Anne
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Purpose: This study addressed 3 main questions: (a) which factors influence parents consenting to a CI for their child;(b) what information parents are receiving, and whether the quantity, quality, content, timing, and mode of the information is appropriate; (c) in what practical ways can professionals within a CI Team support parents in the future. Method: 78 hearing parents with a hearing impaired (HI) child, who had been through a CI decision-making process, completed a questionnaire exploring their experiences retrospectively. A mixed method approach was used to yield both qualitative and quantitative data, questions consisted of Likert scales, and open/closed questions. Data was gathered in 5 sections; parental background, child background, CI process, CI Team and information received. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis, and the quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Results: The main findings were that it appears difficult for CI Centres to provide satisfactory care for every individual due to the complexity and individuality of each case. No correlation between the parental level of education and their ability to give informed consent was identified. The majority of participants reported the information to be unbiased; to equally explain the pros and cons of the procedure; the modality, timing and quantity to be appropriate; dissatisfied with the content; felt able to make an informed decision; and had the opportunity to meet with other parents pre-decision. Conclusions: It is clear that parents have an enormous responsibility to make an informed decision on behalf of their child, and that the CI Team must ensure the parents are supported through this process. It is clear that multiple factors can influence a parents decision, including, the information received, and the relationship with the CI Team.
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