Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of home use of a remote microphone system (RMS) on the spoken language production of caregivers with young children who have hearing loss.
Method: Language Environment Analysis recorders were used with 10 families during 2 consecutive weekends (RMS weekend and No-RMS weekend). The amount of talk from a single caregiver that could be made accessible to children with hearing loss when using an RMS was estimated using Language Environment Analysis software. The total amount of caregiver talk (close and far talk) was also compared across both weekends. In addition, caregivers' perceptions of RMS use were gathered.
Results: Children, with the use of RMSs, could potentially have access to approximately 42% more words per day. In addition, although caregivers produced an equivalent number of words on both weekends, they tended to talk more from a distance when using the RMS than when not. Finally, caregivers reported positive perceived communication benefits of RMS use.
Conclusions: Findings from this investigation suggest that children with hearing loss have increased access to caregiver talk when using an RMS in the home environment. Clinical implications and future directions for research are discussed.