Article  |   June 2010
Quality of Life in Children With Unilateral Hearing Loss: A Pilot Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Judith E. C. Lieu
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Contact author: Judith E. C. Lieu, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8115, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail lieuj@wustl.edu.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice
Article   |   June 2010
Quality of Life in Children With Unilateral Hearing Loss: A Pilot Study
American Journal of Audiology, June 2010, Vol. 19, 61-72. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2010/07-0043)
History: Received November 13, 2007 , Revised June 9, 2008 , Accepted February 19, 2010
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2010, Vol. 19, 61-72. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2010/07-0043)
History: Received November 13, 2007; Revised June 9, 2008; Accepted February 19, 2010

Purpose: The objective of this pilot study was to investigate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL).

Method: The study was conducted in 2 stages among children age 6–17 years. In Stage 1, the authors conducted focus groups of children with UHL and their parents to elicit perceptions of how UHL affected the lives of these children. In Stage 2, a generic pediatric quality of life survey was used to measure HRQOL quantitatively in children with normal hearing, UHL, and bilateral hearing loss. Participants were recruited from the clinical and research populations of an academic otolaryngology department.

Results: The focus groups revealed that the children with UHL experienced barriers due to their hearing loss but learned to adapt. Quantitatively, statistically significant differences between groups were not observed on the 3 main HRQOL scales (Total, Psychosocial, and Physical). Children with UHL had a significantly larger variance on the social functioning score than children with normal hearing and bilateral hearing loss.

Conclusions: UHL may affect the HRQOL of children; this possibility should be included when counseling parents. However, further research is warranted to determine whether the authors' findings are generalizable to other children with UHL.

Acknowledgments
The poster presentation of this research was awarded the James Jerger Student Research Award from the American Academy of Audiology, April 2007. Judith E. C. Lieu was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant K23DC006638 during this study. The authors would like to thank the Washington University Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences Valente Research Award Committee for their support of this Capstone Project.
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