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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-32

Delivering an audiology outreach clinic in Gujarat: Clinical observations and challenges

Division of Audiology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jeff Davies
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Room H2.25L, Hawthorn Building, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/indianjotol.INDIANJOTOL_70_17

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Introduction: Audiology staff and students from De Montfort University delivered an audiology outreach clinic in Wankaner, Gujarat, with the aim of providing free audiological examination, hearing tests, and hearing aids to local residents with hearing loss. In addition, the project also presented a valuable opportunity to evaluate the spectrum of hearing-related symptoms in this rural region of India. Subjects and Methods: This was a prospective, observational clinical study. Participants aged 5+ were invited for a consultation at the Devdaya Diagnostic Centre. The consultation comprised of an audiological history, otoscopy, and a hearing test. Middle ear evaluation through tympanometry was also available. Digital receiver-in-ear hearing aids were fitted to participants deemed clinically suitable. Red flag otological symptoms were referred onward to an ENT consultant. Clinical consultations were translated into Gujarati by the local hospital staff. Results: Over 2 days, 170 participants (aged 6–94 years) were screened; 116 males and 54 females. A wide range of otological symptoms and conditions was observed including tinnitus in 70 participants (41%), perforated eardrums (22%), active ear discharge (15%), occluding wax (12%), otalgia (8%), and a history of noise exposure (5%). Average hearing threshold configuration showed a bilateral moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss which was worse in males. Twelve participants had normal or mild hearing loss. Hearing aids were offered to 97 (57%) participants, 88 of which reported listener benefit and agreed to wear the aids on a daily basis. The remaining 44 participants were not considered suitable for hearing aids. Conclusions: A new partnership between De Montfort University and the Devdaya Diagnostic Centre has provided the local community of Wankaner with access to free audiological healthcare. While there were a number of environmental and technological challenges to overcome, this maiden visit proved to be successful, laying the foundation for future clinics.

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