The Views & Experiences of Families on Bone Anchored Hearing
This study qualitatively explores the views and experiences of families on obtaining and using a BAHA device. A semi structured interview format was used to collect responses from 10 families from different geographical regions of the UK. Findings indicate how the use of BAHA was valued by families. Although participants identified that BAHA devices improve both the clarity and directionality of sound, the most consistently reported benefits related to social, psychological and educational functioning. BAHA devices were perceived to give children the opportunity to interact with others reducing isolation and improving self esteem and self identity. However, the findings also demonstrate that BAHA devices are not without challenges.
Responses identified how professionals need to provide accurate information to families to aid them with the complicated decision making process they are working through in deciding whether to have a BAHA or not. Managing the expectations of what BAHA devices can and cannot do is vital to ensure that families are able to make a fully informed decision. The availability of appropriate advice, information and support (including peer support) is an important part of this process. Families involved in this study were clear that in many circumstances there were system errors in relation to their care package and these experiences can have a negative impact on their experiences of the device itself.