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10/27/2018  |   1:15 PM - 2:00 PM   |  Kramer Lecture Theater 3

Assessment of the Perceptions and Experiences of South African Psychiatrists Regarding Consultations and Therapy with Patients with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is an invisible disability, whose consequences are not apparent to the casual observer. “Hearing loss” is an umbrella term which covers many different clinical conditions, the result of such variables as degree of hearing loss, age of onset and rate of development. An example is the challenges of the child who is born with profound hearing loss are of an entirely different order from those of a person who loses hearing in adult life, therefore having entirely different implications. Providing therapy to patients with various degrees and onset of hearing loss raises important ethical considerations for psychiatrists related to competence, confidentiality, assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation; mode of different mode of communication methods and using interpreters. In evaluating and addressing these, psychiatrists must provide ethical treatment. The purpose of the study is to sensitize psychiatrists to the importance of knowledge and expertise concerning patients with hearing loss. The study aims to establish to what extent psychiatrists are aware of the special needs of patients with hearing loss, how they cope with the patient with hearing loss in therapy, and how they relate to potential ethical issues involved. Research conducted highlighted that many individuals with hearing loss have additional disabilities and a high probability of complex mental health needs The study is a quantitative, descriptive study using information gains from a questionnaire. The majority participants illustrated that they have limited knowledge, skills and expertise in services that are specialized for the treatment of patients with hearing loss. This study presents the rationale for including information about hearing loss in the curricula on patient-doctor communication, and recommendations concerning curricular content about the broad spectrum and consequences of hearing loss.

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Magteld Smith (Primary Presenter), University of the Free State, smithm@ufs.ac.za;
Dr Magteld Smith is a medical-social researcher at the University of the Free State, Faculty of Health Sciences within the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. She is the first South African born with bilateral deafness to receive two Master Degrees and a PhD. During 2009 she has received a Med-El cochlear implant. Dr Smith matriculated at the De la Bat School for the Deaf in Worcester. During January 2011, she was awarded with the National Research Foundation, PhD Sabbatical Award and has done research at the Royal National Hospital Nose, Ear and Throat at the University College London. During 2012/2013, she was awarded with the Hubert H. Humphrey Fulbright Scholarship for a period of 14 months at the University of Minnesota, US. Only two South Africans are selected every year by the American State and International Institute for Education. On completion of the Fellowship, she received a certificate signed by the American president, Barack Obama, and was named as one of the top three researchers among 400 researchers from 192 countries. She was also awarded by the International Institute for Education in the US to recognize her outstanding achievements in the field of her research, community involvement and leadership. In June 2014, she delivered a presentation at the 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies in Munich, Germany. In July 2014, she delivered a presentation at the 5th Annual Coalition for Global Hearing Health, Oxford, UK. During August 2014, she received the Golden Key International Honour Society Award and a Scholarship for outstanding scholastic proficiency and academic merit. Her research is published in various peer-reviewed scientific journals. Dr Smith is also a Board Member of the National Institute for the Deaf in Worcester, South Africa.


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