Spoken language and everyday functioning in 5-year-old children using hearing aids or cochlear implants.Int J Audiol. 2018 05; 57(sup2):S55-S69.IJ
This study investigated the factors influencing 5-year language, speech and everyday functioning of children with congenital hearing loss.
Standardised tests including PLS-4, PPVT-4 and DEAP were directly administered to children. Parent reports on language (CDI) and everyday functioning (PEACH) were collected. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the influence of a range of demographic variables on outcomes.
Participants were 339 children enrolled in the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study.
Children's average receptive and expressive language scores were approximately 1 SD below the mean of typically developing children, and scores on speech production and everyday functioning were more than 1 SD below. Regression models accounted for 70-23% of variance in scores across different tests. Earlier CI switch-on and higher non-verbal ability were associated with better outcomes in most domains. Earlier HA fitting and use of oral communication were associated with better outcomes on directly administered language assessments. Severity of hearing loss and maternal education influenced outcomes of children with HAs. The presence of additional disabilities affected outcomes of children with CIs.
The findings provide strong evidence for the benefits of early HA fitting and early CI for improving children's outcomes.