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Revista Paulista de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0103-0582
SILVA, Angélica Bronzatto P.; PEREIRA, Maria Cristina C. and ZANOLLI, Maria de Lurdes. Deafness: from suspicion to referral for intervention. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp. 257-262. ISSN 0103-0582. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-05822012000200016.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the experiences of mothers concerning the suspicion of deafness, the diagnosis and the referral to rehabilitation, as well as their perception about how the diagnosis was presented and explained. METHODS: Qualitative study with ten hearing mothers of deaf children who attended specialized treatment at São Paulo State, Brazil, for at least two years. A semi-structured interview with the mothers was performed and data were analyzed by examining of participants speeches, seeking to understand the meaning that mothers attributed to their own words. RESULTS: Although the diagnosis of six children was done before 12 months of age and considering mothers' multiple feelings on facing the deafness of their children, earlier diagnosis would have been possible if maternal observations have been given adequate value. Health professionals showed some difficulties in "listening" mothers' doubts, complaints and inquiries. In some cases, even when the diagnosis of deafness was appropriate by newborn hearing screening or clinical tools, children's treatment was delayed because referrals for specialized centers were inadequate. At the moment of communicating the problem, social, cultural and emotional needs of the mothers were not considered. CONCLUSIONS: The qualification and attention of health professionals is important to enable the early diagnosis of deafness, allowing appropriate support for the family and patients' referral and follow-up.
Keywords : deafness; diagnosis; mothers; pediatrics.