The Influence of Hearing Aid Use on Outcomes of Children With Mild Hearing Loss Purpose This study examined the effects of consistent hearing aid (HA) use on outcomes in children with mild hearing loss (HL). Method Five- or 7-year-old children with mild HL were separated into 3 groups on the basis of patterns of daily HA use. Using analyses of variance, we ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2015
The Influence of Hearing Aid Use on Outcomes of Children With Mild Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth A. Walker
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Lenore Holte
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Ryan W. McCreery
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Meredith Spratford
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Thomas Page
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mary Pat Moeller
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Center for Childhood Deafness, Omaha, NE
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Walker: elizabeth-walker@uiowa.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg
    Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg×
Article Information
Development / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2015
The Influence of Hearing Aid Use on Outcomes of Children With Mild Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1611-1625. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-15-0043
History: Received January 31, 2015 , Revised June 4, 2015 , Accepted June 30, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1611-1625. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-15-0043
History: Received January 31, 2015; Revised June 4, 2015; Accepted June 30, 2015

Purpose This study examined the effects of consistent hearing aid (HA) use on outcomes in children with mild hearing loss (HL).

Method Five- or 7-year-old children with mild HL were separated into 3 groups on the basis of patterns of daily HA use. Using analyses of variance, we compared outcomes between groups on speech and language tests and a speech perception in noise task. Regression models were used to investigate the influence of cumulative auditory experience (audibility, early intervention, HA use) on outcomes.

Results Full-time HA users demonstrated significantly higher scores on vocabulary and grammar measures compared with nonusers. There were no significant differences between the 3 groups on articulation or speech perception measures. After controlling for the variance in age at confirmation of HL, level of audibility, and enrollment in early intervention, only amount of daily HA use was a significant predictor of grammar and vocabulary.

Conclusions The current results provide evidence that children's language development benefits from consistent HA use. Nonusers are at risk in areas such as vocabulary and grammar compared with other children with mild HL who wear HAs regularly. Service providers should work collaboratively to encourage consistent HA use.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants NIH/NIDCD 5R01DC009560-07 (coprincipal investigators J. Bruce Tomblin and Mary Pat Moeller) and 5R01DC013591-02 (principal investigator Ryan W. McCreery). The content of this project is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders or the National Institutes of Health. Portions of this article were presented at the Hearing Across the Lifespan conference in Lake Como, Italy; The Wyoming Speech and Hearing Conference; and the Iowa Speech and Hearing Conference. The following people provided support, assistance, and feedback at various points in the project: J. Bruce Tomblin, Jacob Oleson, Wendy Fick, and Marlea O'Brien. Special thanks go to the examiners at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to the families and children who participated in the research.
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