Mina Nikolić, Sanja Ostojić-Zeljković, Sanja Đoković

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected numerous aspects of human existence, thus increasing psychological stress in the overall population worldwide. Healthcare and social support systems have suffered extreme challenges and pressures. The welfare, protection, and rights of socially vulnerable groups, such as children with loss of hearing and their families, were challenged. The system of auditory rehabilitation encountered numerous problems due to the Covid-19 pandemic, because of the compromised access to rehabilitation facilities and therapists. The objective of the study was to investigate the parents’ perspective on the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on auditory rehabilitation. A questionnaire was developed to gather the parents’ answers to the research questions. The sample consisted of fifty-one parents of deaf children and children hard of hearing enrolled in the auditory rehabilitation process. The results showed a considerable impact of the pandemic on the accessibility of rehabilitation, with periods of two to three months of complete disruption for most children, due to lockdown. A vast number of parents experienced psychological stress due to those changes, accompanied by the fear of contracting Covid-19 when attending rehabilitation facilities. Most of the parents observed changes in their child’s behaviour, and communication difficulties due to face masks during the pandemic. Numerous studies support these findings. The results of our research show that the improvement and an increase in the flexibility of the auditory rehabilitation system are necessary. Auditory rehabilitation should be supported by state-of-the-art technologies (e.g., telecommunication) in order to ensure the continuity of the rehabilitation process and support for hearing-impaired children and their parents, even in extreme circumstances.


deafness, hard of hearing, auditory rehabilitation, Covid-19

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