Hearing Loss in the Middle East: Attitudes of Kuwaiti Adults
Stephanie Hughes, Fauzia Abdalla, Farzan Irani

In many developed countries services for people with hearing loss (PWHL) are, in general, quite widely available. Decades of research in these countries, however, suggest that PWHL face social, academic, and occupational stigmatization. Fewer studies have investigated how people in Middle Eastern countriesperceive PWHL and hearing impairment. Accordingly, this study attempted to measure the attitudes toward PWHL of people living in Kuwait, a country in which audiology services are relatively advanced but less widely available than in Western countries. A questionnaire to measure attitudes toward PWHL was administered to 943 university students and adult members of the general population living in Kuwait. Results indicated that many of the respondents’ attitudes toward hearing loss and PWHL were generally positive. There were, however, some significant differences in responses on the basis of gender, and some misconceptions about hearing loss and its effects were observed. These findings indicate that people in Kuwait demonstrate attitudes toward hearing loss that are similar to those expressed outside of the Middle East, including North America and some European countries. As such, interactions between people with hearing loss and with normal hearing may be improved by increased education of the general public in Kuwait about hearing loss and its effects.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v2n4a1