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Child Care Health Dev. 2010 Nov;36(6):868-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01092.x.

Influences on parental evaluation of the content of early intervention following early identification of deafness: a study about parents' preferences and satisfaction.

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National Deaf Child and Adolescence Mental Health Service, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset, UK.



Following early identification of deafness attention has now turned to early intervention of deaf children and their families. Improved outcomes associated with early identification and quality early intervention have been long predicated. However, the effectiveness of early intervention is mediated by parents' values, beliefs and preferences. How these mediate the nature of intervention is key to understand how early intervention impacts on outcomes.


Eighty-two parents of early identified deaf children participated in a longitudinal study (UK). Data from parents were collected through postal questionnaires. Parents provided repeated data on My Views on Services questionnaire (at 6-month interval). They also filled in once the Trait Emotional Intelligence questionnaire and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Statistical analyses were carried out to investigate parents' preferences and satisfaction with content of early intervention.


Families had contact with a median of five professionals and 45 h of early intervention (on a 6-month basis). Parents view all content of early intervention as important. Content that supported parents to support their child was a priority for them. Length of involvement in early intervention and mothers' personal disposition did not have an effect on ratings of importance. However, mothers' educational background did influence ratings on the Supporting Parents subscale (F= 3.41; d.f. = 3 and 66; P= 0.023). Parents' satisfaction scores with content of early intervention were neutral (mean: 0.2; SD 0.8). Parents were more satisfied with contents that supported them to support their deaf child, than with those aimed to support themselves. Parents' satisfaction with content that supported themselves did increase with length of involvement in early intervention (t=-3.435; P= 0.004). Significant correlations (r= 0.221; r= 0.230; r= 0.252) between mothers' well-being and satisfaction scores were identified.


These findings underscore the importance of understanding how parents' beliefs, values and perceived need impact on their experience of early intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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