Parents' perceptions of tele-audiological testing in a rural hearing screening program in South India.

International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology

PubMedID: 27619030

Ramkumar V, Selvakumar K, Vanaja CS, Hall JW, Nagarajan R, Neethi J. Parents' perceptions of tele-audiological testing in a rural hearing screening program in South India. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2016;8960-6.
INTRODUCTION
Tele-diagnostic audiological testing in a hearing screening program for infants and young children is a novel practice, and this study is the first to explore its application in a rural community. It is important to understand parental perceptions and confidence when introducing a new process such as tele-audiological diagnostic testing in rural areas.

METHOD
A questionnaire with 17 rater-administered items was designed to elicit comments concerning the quality of tele-hearing testing and video-conferencing, access to tele-hearing testing, and parents' attitudes regarding tele-hearing testing in the village. The questionnaire was administered by an audiologist not involved in tele-diagnostic testing to avoid bias.

RESULTS
Parents perceived tele-hearing testing as equal in quality to in-person testing. Technical factors such as good video-conferencing quality and logistical factors such as ease of access due to reasonable travel time to testing facility could have influenced these perceptions.

CONCLUSIONS
While these results show tele-hearing testing is an acceptable alternative, occasional poor signal quality should be addressed prior to large-scale implementation.