Baseline Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Healthcare Practitioners in Rizal Province, Philippines toward Implementing the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program
Objective. The study describes the current knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare practitioners in Rizal province regarding the implementation of the universal newborn hearing screening program (UNHSP).
Materials and Methods. A descriptive phenomenologic research design through focus group discussions with pediatric and OBGYN consultants in a government hospital, nurses from private primary and secondary hospitals, midwives from private birthing homes, and rural health workers.
Results. Attitudes. All participants recognized that they had important roles in implementing the program except the OBGYN consultants as they felt that information about the UNHSP should be provided by pediatricians. Practices. The lack of a screening device, trained personnel, and a referral network were the most common barriers in implementing the program. Knowledge. Most participants lacked specific knowledge about hearing loss and its implications in the UNHSP.
Conclusion. Most participants were able to determine the advantages and disadvantages of implementing the UNHSP. However, less than half of the participants admitted to have an established protocol to give access to newborn hearing screening services. Establishment of an information dissemination protocol and materials may be beneficial in the absence of funding for screening devices.