This study is aimed to examine the maintenance and utilisation of hearing aids given to clients attending government hospitals in Tshwane and to probe factors that impacted on the hearing aid fitting process, in order to contribute to the formation of service delivery guidelines. As most participants were embarrassed to wear their devices, results showed that there was a general consensus about the self-image and wearing of hearing aids. Furthermore, it was found that most government fitted hearing aids and accessories were poorly cared for and maintained. One of the factors which negatively influenced the utilisation and maintenance of hearing aids was finance. Participants could not afford to properly maintain and service their hearing instruments. Multilingualism also presented an obstacle in terms of utilising hearing aids correctly and to their full benefit, as most participants were not instructed on hearing aid care and use in their first language. Furthermore, distance to and from the provincial hospitals also posed a problem for clients living in rural and outlying areas.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.