Hearing Aid Use Time in Children
Walker et al (2013) report that despite early identification of hearing loss and early intervention (more than 95 percent of all children born in the United States are screened for hearing loss at birth), there is little known about factors that influence the consistency of hearing aid (HA) use.
Therefore, Walker et al set out to document HA use patterns and to identify factors that may predict overall HA use time. The parents of 272 children (127 females, 145 males, between the ages of 5 months and 7 years, 3 months, average age 41 months) participated. Of note, 265 of the children were fit with WDRC hearing aids and 7 of the children wore bone-conduction hearing aids. None of the children had cochlear implants (CI) upon entry into, or during their participation in the study. Six children did receive CIs after their participation in the study (due to progression of hearing loss).
The authors concluded that several variables were significantly related to the amount of time children wore hearing aids (based on parental estimations of daily use time) including the child’s chronological age, the degree of hearing loss and the mother’s educational level. The authors report that children with lesser hearing loss and younger children wore their hearing aids less consistently than did children who were older and had more hearing loss. Walker et al noted that parents reported challenges to pediatric hearing aid use. These challenges included fatigue, temper tantrums, and illness. There was a positive correlation between the parents’ subjective hearing aid use estimate and the objective data revealed via data-logging.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Walker EA, Spratford M, Moeller MP, Oleson J, Ou H, Roush P, Jacobs S. (2013) Predictors of Hearing Aid Use Time in Children with Mild-to-Severe Hearing Loss. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 44.