Empowering deaf and hard hearing females toward premarital counseling and genetic screening: An educational intervention based on empowerment model

Sahar Z Zaien, Hanan A El Sayed, Heba A Ibrahim, Wafaa T Elgzar, Marwa I H Aboraiah, Mona A Abdel-Mordy


Hearing loss affects many people worldwide, and it hinders speech, language, and social development. Consanguineous marriage is the most prevalent social custom that leads to an increased prevalence of congenital anomalies. Premarital Counseling and Genetic Screening (PMSGC) educational program is urgently needed to empower deaf and hard hearing girls. This study aimed to investigate the effect of educational intervention based on the empowerment model on deaf and hard hearing females' self-efficacy, knowledge, and attitude toward PMSGC. A Quasi-experimental research design was conducted on 64 deaf and hard hearing female students. The data collection instrument comprised four parts: basic data and personal/family history, PMSGC quiz, Likert attitude scale, and general self-efficacy scale. Data were collected from September to December 2020. The empowerment educational intervention was conducted in four sequential phases; needs assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The intervention addressed the students' knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy.  The results showed that 76.6% of the study participants had consanguineous marriage between their parents, 64.1% had a history of hereditary deafness in first-degree relatives. There were statistically significant differences between the total knowledge, attitude, and self-efficacy before and after intervention (p<0.001). In detail, 76.6% of the participants had good knowledge after the intervention compared to only 12.5% before it. Besides, 81.3% of the study participants had a positive attitude toward PMSGC before the intervention compared to 95.3% after it. Self-efficacy was low (25.0%) or moderate (75%) before the intervention compared to moderate (45.3%) or high (42.2%) after the intervention. Educational intervention based on the empowerment model significantly increased the deaf and hard hearing population's self-efficacy, knowledge, and attitude toward PMSGC. The use of the empowerment model in health education should be encouraged and taught to the medical and paramedical students. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[1s]: 36-49).

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