Service Delivery to Children With Mild Hearing Loss: Current Practice Patterns and Parent Perceptions Purpose This study investigates clinical practice patterns and parent perception of intervention for children with mild hearing loss (HL). Method Ages at and delays between service delivery steps (first diagnostic evaluation, confirmation of HL, hearing aid [HA] fitting, entry into early intervention) were investigated for 113 children with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2017
Service Delivery to Children With Mild Hearing Loss: Current Practice Patterns and Parent Perceptions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth A. Walker
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Meredith Spratford
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Sophie E. Ambrose
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Lenore Holte
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Jacob Oleson
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Walker: elizabeth-walker@uiowa.edu
  • Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Eddins
    Associate Editor: Ann Eddins×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2017
Service Delivery to Children With Mild Hearing Loss: Current Practice Patterns and Parent Perceptions
American Journal of Audiology, March 2017, Vol. 26, 38-52. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-16-0063
History: Received July 12, 2016 , Revised August 31, 2016 , Accepted September 29, 2016
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 2017, Vol. 26, 38-52. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-16-0063
History: Received July 12, 2016; Revised August 31, 2016; Accepted September 29, 2016

Purpose This study investigates clinical practice patterns and parent perception of intervention for children with mild hearing loss (HL).

Method Ages at and delays between service delivery steps (first diagnostic evaluation, confirmation of HL, hearing aid [HA] fitting, entry into early intervention) were investigated for 113 children with mild HL. Comparisons were made to children with moderate-to-severe HL. Parents of children with mild HL reported reasons for delays and their perceptions of intervention and amplification for their children.

Results Seventy-four percent of children with mild HL were identified through the newborn hearing screen; 26% were identified later due to passing or not receiving a newborn hearing screen. Ninety-four percent of children with mild HL were fit with HAs, albeit at significantly later ages than children with moderate-to-severe HL. Most parents indicated that their children benefited from HA use, but some parents expressed ambivalence toward the amount of benefit.

Conclusions Audiologists appear to be moving toward regularly providing amplification for children with mild HL. However, delays in HA fittings indicate that further educating professionals and parents about the benefits of early amplification and intervention is warranted to encourage timely fitting and consistent use of HAs.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants 5R01DC009560 (coprincipal investigators J. Bruce Tomblin, University of Iowa, and Mary Pat Moeller, Boys Town National Research Hospital) and 5R01DC013591 (principal investigator Ryan W. McCreery, Boys Town National Research Hospital). The content of this project is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders or the National Institutes of Health. The following people provided support, assistance, and feedback at various points in the project: Mary Pat Moeller, Wendy Fick, and Marlea O'Brien. Special thanks go to the families and children who participated in the research and to the examiners at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.
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