Parent informational needs at diagnosis of hearing loss: a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies

Ms Rachael Hyder1,2, Dr Sophie Hill2

1Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia,

2LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Consumer-centred care for parents upon diagnosis of infant hearing loss requires early access to meaningful information about the child’s individual hearing function.  Typically, Audiology reports provide diagnostic test results. The reports are distributed to a range of health professionals, and sometimes the parent. Increasingly, however, informed consumers are accessing their own health information.  A clear understanding of the range of parent informational needs at diagnosis would enable evaluation of the extent to which these needs are addressed by the information currently provided to parents by Audiologists.

A literature review was undertaken and 14 studies were identified that embraced an epistemological approach to understanding parent experiences at diagnosis with a focus on informational needs. The data were meta-synthesised and three main themes emerged: “the primacy of the social context”, “control of information” and “purpose of information from parents’ perspectives”.

A future national survey of Audiologists will aim to describe the range of information currently provided to parents when an infant is diagnosed.  Diagnostic Audiology report templates will be assessed in terms of their understandability, actionability and alignment with the above themes relating to informational needs of parents.


Rachael has worked in infant diagnosis for over 20 years within both in the hospital and community health sectors.  As a Master of Public Health student her area of research is in health literacy, and this is presentation sets the scene for a national survey of Audiologists’ information sharing behaviours at infant diagnosis.