Objectives: To evaluate the effects of an adhesive adapter prosthesis (AAP) on memory function in pediatric subjects with single side hearing loss (SSHL).
Materials and methods: Case-control study. 19 pediatric subjects with mild to moderate SSHL treated with AAP and 15 subjects with normal hearing (control group) were included in this study. Working and short-term memory functions were tested in all subjects, in silence and noise conditions. In SSHL subjects, tests were performed before the AAP was applied (T0) and at 1-month (T1) follow-up. The control group was tested once.
Results: AAP significantly improved working memory function in noise as measured at T1 (p<0.01) compared with T0, but T1 scores in children with SSHL remained significantly different from the ones of the control group (p<0.01). AAP also significantly improved short- term memory function test scores at T1 compared with T0 (p<0.01), but despite being in the normal range for the subjects' age, the scores remained significantly different from those of the control group (p<0.01).
Conclusion: In pediatric subjects with mild, moderate, and moderate-severe SSHL, restoration of bilateral hearing through AAP improved short-term memory function and working memory function in noise, as measured at 1 month follow-up; however, AAP did not seem to lead to a full restoration of such functions as measured by a comparison with healthy controls. Further studies with longer follow-ups might help elucidate whether AAP can elicit further improvements in memory functions.