Knowledge and attitude on childhood hearing loss among mothers and mothers-to-be in urban and rural areas in Malaysia.

Affiliation

Audiology Program, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 53200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

OBJECTIVE : Maternal knowledge and attitude towards childhood hearing loss play an important role in determining the success of early diagnosis and intervention of hearing loss programs in children. This study aimed to 1) assess the knowledge and attitude of childhood hearing loss among mothers, 2) compare knowledge and attitude of childhood hearing loss in urban and rural mothers, 3) investigate the relationship between knowledge and attitude on childhood hearing loss, and 4) identify socio-demographic factors that influence mothers' knowledge and attitude on childhood hearing loss.
METHODS : A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 362 mothers and mothers-to-be (mean age: 31.9 ± 4.9 years, range: 20-48 years old) recruited from Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and two health clinics in Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan and Beranang, Selangor representing the urban and rural areas respectively. All participants were interviewed in person using a newly developed and reliable questionnaire that tested their knowledge and attitude on childhood hearing loss.
RESULTS : Generally, the majority of mothers had a moderate level of knowledge and positive attitude towards childhood hearing loss. Urban mothers had a significantly higher knowledge than those of the rural area (p < 0.05). However, no significant differences were observed in attitude toward childhood hearing loss between urban and rural mothers. In addition, there was no significant relationship found between knowledge and attitude on childhood hearing loss among mothers. Age, race, occupation and education level contributed to the knowledge score significantly (p < 0.05), whereas, only race was significantly associated with attitude.
CONCLUSIONS : In spite of positive attitude towards childhood hearing loss, the majority of mothers and mothers-to-be demonstrated poor knowledge on this aspect. Therefore, this study highlights the urgent need to develop and implement appropriate health education campaigns to improve mothers' knowledge of childhood hearing loss.

Keywords

Attitude,Childhood hearing loss,Knowledge,Mother,Rural,Urban,

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