Early intervention in South Africa: moving beyond hearing screening

Int J Audiol. 2008;47 Suppl 1:S36-43. doi: 10.1080/14992020802294040.


Since little information is available on the outcome of early hearing intervention programs in South Africa, this article examines data on infants and families registered with a family-centred, home-based intervention program (HI HOPES) over a 12-month period in order to track the effectiveness of the holistic unbiased support to families of infants and toddlers with a hearing-loss. The aim of HI HOPES, which is based on the SKI-HI model of early intervention in the USA, is to ensure that families are enabled to make informed choices for their unique infant. Data were gathered on 32 infants ages birth to three years and their families using both qualitative and quantitative measures which included analysis of demographic data, quarterly language assessments, and parent satisfaction surveys. The report on the pilot year of this early intervention program shows that, though the sample is small, there is significant improvement in infant receptive and expressive language for infants identified before seven months of age, as well as a high level of satisfaction from families who have received services.

MeSH terms

  • Child Health Services*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Correction of Hearing Impairment*
  • Developing Countries*
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss / rehabilitation*
  • Hearing Tests*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Language Development
  • Neonatal Screening / methods*
  • Parents
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Referral and Consultation
  • South Africa