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.
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: Accepted 19 Feb 2010 , Received 13 Nov 2007 , Revised 09 Jun 2008
American Journal of Audiology June 2010, Vol.19, 61-72. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2010/07-0043)
History: Accepted 19 Feb 2010 , Received 13 Nov 2007 , Revised 09 Jun 2008

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.

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