Remote Microphone System Use in the Homes of Children With Hearing Loss: Impact on Caregiver Communication and Child Vocalizations

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2020 Feb 26;63(2):633-642. doi: 10.1044/2019_JSLHR-19-00197. Epub 2020 Jan 22.


Purpose This study examined the impact of home use of remote microphone systems (RMSs) on caregiver communication and child vocalizations in families of children with hearing loss. Method We drew on data from a prior study in which Language ENvironmental Analysis recorders were used with 9 families during 2 consecutive weekends-1 that involved using an RMS and 1 that did not. Audio samples from Language ENvironmental Analysis recorders were (a) manually coded to quantify the frequency of verbal repetitions and alert phrases caregivers utilized in communicating to children with hearing loss and (b) automatically analyzed to quantify children's vocalization rate, duration, complexity, and reciprocity when using and not using an RMS. Results When using an RMS at home, caregivers did not repeat or clarify their statements as often as when not using an RMS while communicating with their children with hearing loss. However, no between-condition differences were observed in children's vocal characteristics. Conclusions Results provide further support for home RMS use for children with hearing loss. Specifically, findings lend empirical support to prior parental reports suggesting that RMS use eases caregiver communication in the home setting. Studies exploring RMS use over a longer duration of time might provide further insight into potential long-term effects on children's vocal production.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Language
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Communication Aids for Disabled*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / psychology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verbal Behavior*