The Pacific Islands have among the highest rates of ear disease and hearing loss in the world. Ear and hearing health services are limited in this region; however, a significant proportion of avoidable hearing loss and disability may be addressed through public health promotion activities. In order to develop appropriate hearing health education campaigns and promotion initiatives, knowledge and attitude studies among target population groups are vital. This review aimed to summarize the research literature on knowledge and attitude to ear disease and hearing loss in the Pacific Islands in order to develop appropriate health promotion campaigns for our context in Samoa. PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were searched for relevant journal articles. Key search terms were 'Pacific Islands', 'ear disease', 'hearing loss', 'knowledge', 'attitudes', and their relevant synonyms. There was no limit on the date of publication. Only one journal article met the review criteria. Parental knowledge and attitude to childhood hearing loss and hearing services in the Solomon Islands was overwhelmingly positive (96%-99.3%). There was high parental awareness of ear disease as a cause of hearing loss among children (94%) and high parental awareness of public health initiatives aimed at reducing ear disease and hearing loss such as routine childhood immunizations (84%) and breastfeeding (76%). Knowledge and attitude studies among key stakeholders are needed to develop appropriate health promotion activities to reduce the preventable causes of hearing loss in the Pacific Islands. Health promotion activities should prioritize major public health issues of ear disease and noise-induced hearing loss.
Keywords: Epidemiology/public health; infectious diseases; otolaryngology.
© The Author(s) 2021.