Paper  |   June 2009
Consistency of Hearing Aid Use in Infants With Early-Identified Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Pat Moeller
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Brenda Hoover
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Barbara Peterson
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Pat Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Contact author: Mary Pat Moeller, 555 North 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131. E-mail: moeller@boystown.org.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology
Paper   |   June 2009
Consistency of Hearing Aid Use in Infants With Early-Identified Hearing Loss
American Journal of Audiology, June 2009, Vol. 18, 14-23. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0010)
History: Received May 8, 2008 , Accepted October 21, 2008
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2009, Vol. 18, 14-23. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0010)
History: Received May 8, 2008; Accepted October 21, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose: To examine the consistency of hearing aid use by infants. A goal was to identify maternal, child, and situational factors that affected consistency of device use.

Method: Maternal interviews were conducted using a nonvalidated structured interview (Amplification in Daily Life Questionnaire) that included 5-point Likert scale items and open-ended questions. Participants were mothers of 7 infants with mild to moderately severe hearing loss who were enrolled in a longitudinal study. Data were collected at 4 intervals (10.5–12, 16.5, 22.5, and 28.5 months old).

Results: Consistency of amplification use was variable at early ages but improved with age. By age 28.5 months, toddlers used amplification regularly in most settings. Selected daily situations (e.g., in car or outdoors) were more challenging for maintaining device use than contexts where the child was closely monitored. Only 2 families established early, consistent full-time use across all contexts examined. Qualitative results were used to identify familial, developmental, and situational variables that influenced the consistency of infant/toddler device use.

Conclusion: Families may benefit from audiologic counseling that acknowledges the multifaceted challenges that arise. Audiologists can work in partnership with families to promote consistent device use across a variety of daily situations.

Acknowledgments
The work reported in this article was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01DC006681, R01DC04300, and P30DC04662. The authors are grateful for data collection assistance from Coille Putman. We appreciate the helpful input of two anonymous reviewers on an earlier version of this article. We also thank the parents who willingly participated in the interview process.
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