Evaluation of educational audiological assessment process: a case study of audiology section at Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya
Muriithi, Francis Muriuki
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Audiological assessment forms the basis for habilitation and rehabilitation for children and persons with hearing impairment in enabling them to become more productive to the society and lead an independent life. It is only through effective audiological assessment that their hearing acuity can be ascertained and early intervention initiated. This study evaluated audiological assessment process at audiology section of Kenyatta National Hospital. The objectives of the study were to find out how different variables like human resources (professionals) audiological facilities and equipments and audiological procedures interrelate during the entire assessment process. The literature reviewed in this study reveals that the earlier the assessment, by qualified professionals using the right audiological procedures and right audiological facilities and equipments, the better the outcomes. The study adopted a case study design utilizing both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The independent variables in the study were factors which lead to effective audiological assessment hence appropriate intervention while the dependent variable was educational audiological assessment. The target population was made up of 48 respondents who comprised 3 audiologists, 2 assessment teachers, 2 speech therapists, one (1) ear mould technician and 40 parents (clients) of children with hearing impairment. All the respondents were sampled using convenience sampling technique. Data was collected using researcher :- made questionnaire, parents (client) interview guide and participant observation technique by the researcher. Piloting was done at Embu Educational Assessment and Resource Centre which collaborates with Ear Nose and Throat department of Embu Provincial General Hospital. The data was analyzed using simple frequency tables and percentages. The findings of the study revealed that there was inadequacy of professionals in the audiology section, audiological facilities and equipments which limit the audiological procedures and services provided in the hospital. The available professionals collaborated quite well though the major challenge they encountered was funding. The study recommended more funding of the section, training and availing more professionals, more collaboration of professionals and creation of advocacy and awareness. Further, similar research has been recommended in other hospitals and for assessment of other types of disabilities like visual impairment and mental challenges.