Psychic Stress and Quality of Life in Parents During Decisive Phases in the Therapy of Their Hearing-Impaired Children


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Abstract

Objective:This study was performed to analyze psychic stress and quality of life in the parents of children with hearing impairment in the course of various phases of treatment.Design:At three measuring points over a course of 12 months, the degree of parental stress and the quality of life was surveyed prospectively. In addition, the children’s hearing and speech status was surveyed. Parents whose children were treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants were the target of this survey. At the outset of the study, data of 123 parents were available. The average age of the children was 38 months.Results:It was not possible to demonstrate generally heightened psychic stress in any phase of treatment. Differentiation into subgroups must be performed, as parental stress depends on possible changes of treatment and the child’s speech status. Initially, quality of life was clearly reduced but gradually became statistically insignificant.Conclusions:The results point out the necessity of supporting the parents with counseling and psychosocial support, especially in the initial fitting phase and in the various decision and orientation phases.

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