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. 2012 Nov;51(11):846-55.
doi: 10.3109/14992027.2012.711914. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Outcome Assessment Alternatives for Young Children During the First 12 Months After Pediatric Hearing-Aid Fittings

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Outcome Assessment Alternatives for Young Children During the First 12 Months After Pediatric Hearing-Aid Fittings

Yun Zheng et al. Int J Audiol. .

Abstract

Objective: Perform longitudinal evaluations of young children during the first 12 months after initial hearing-aid fitting. Document evidence of early prelingual auditory development (EPLAD), identify factors that affect EPLAD, and define performance milestones that can guide best practices.

Design: Unblinded, prospective, within-subject, repeated-measures design. Audiological measures and measures of EPLAD were taken at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months after hearing-aid fitting.

Study sample: Subjects were 45 pediatric patients initially fitted with hearing aids between 1 and 5.5 years of age. Four groups were formed for analysis purposes based on severity of hearing loss (moderate-to-severe and profound) and initial fitting age (≤ 30 months and > 30 months).

Results: All groups exhibited statistically significant increases in EPLAD within six months of hearing-aid fitting, and those with profound losses exhibited further statistically significant improvement between six and 12 months. Similar EPLAD levels were reached at 12 months regardless of severity of hearing loss. The EPLAD trajectory is similar to that following early cochlear implantation.

Conclusions: Measures of EPLAD provide a means of evaluating outcomes following early pediatric hearing-aid intervention, supplementing behavioral audiological measures.

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