Barriers and facilitators to cultural competence in early hearing loss services: A qualitative analysis

Increasing diversity in Canada has direct implications for early hearing detection and intervention.
Efforts to improve cultural competence in early hearing detection and intervention should be informed by evidence on how cultural differences can affect services; however, there is limited
empirical research in this area. The objective of this study, therefore, was to explore the experiences of practitioners in pediatric hearing loss services in providing care to families of minority culture backgrounds. To address this objective, a qualitative research design with semi-structured interviews was used to gain insight into practitioner perceptions of barriers and facilitators to the provision of culturally competent care. A total of 19 practitioners participated in this study. Three themes emerged from the interview data: characteristics of a culturally competent practitioner, barriers to service provision, and facilitators to service provision. Practitioners encountered barriers throughout the process of service delivery with language barriers affecting every stage. Practitioners also reported using various facilitators, such as communication strategies, to mitigate many of these challenges. This study contributes insight to a field that has received little attention in early hearing detection and intervention.

Lead Researchers

Link to Publication


  1. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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