Effects of Parental Education Level and Economic Status on the Needs of Families of Hearing-Impaired Children in the Aural Rehabilitation Program
Introduction: The family of each hearing-impaired child has its own cultural, social, educational, and financial background, and its own special needs. The objectives of our study were to explore the information and support needs of parents of children with severe -to-profound hearing impairment and to investigate the effects of the parents’ level of education and economic status on the score attained in the parents’-needs questionnaire.
Materials and Methods: Fifty-one parents of children with severe-to-profound hearing loss (53% girls, 47% boys; mean age 47.96 months) who used the Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach were asked to complete the parents’-needs questionnaire. The questionnaire included demographic information and hearing-loss history and covered six domains which evaluated the
information or support needs of parents. Parental needs with regard to different domains were evaluated separately in all participants.
Results: Statistical analysis indicated that there was a significant decrease in the score attained in the parents’-needs questionnaire with increasing level of education of the child’s parents (P<0.0001). Furthermore, the questionnaire score decreased as the parents’ economic status increased (P<0.0001).
Conclusion: The results of our study indicate that most parents of hearing-impaired children need adequate and appropriate information in all domains, and these findings support the positive effect of creating an appropriate educational environment by considering individualized needs. Furthermore, parents’ levels of education and economic status have a significant effect on their parents’ needs.