Hearing aid functioning in the preschool setting: stepping back in time?

International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology

PubMedID: 21529971

Burkhalter CL, Blalock L, Herring H, Skaar D. Hearing aid functioning in the preschool setting: stepping back in time?. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011;75(6):801-4.
In order for children with hearing impairment to receive maximum benefit from preschool programs, their amplification devices must be functioning appropriately. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to investigate the functionality of hearing aids in a preschool setting.

Forty-four hearing aids worn by 24 preschool children, whose ages ranged from three to five years, (mean age=45.2 months, median age=48 months) from four state funded aural/oral habilitation preschools were evaluated using listening checks and visual examinations. Hearing aids passing both evaluations were given a pass rating and those failing one or more of the evaluations were given a fail rating. Causes of fail rates were documented.

Over half of the hearing aids tested were determined to have at least one or more problems (n=27). These problems were detected using listening and visual checks.

Failure rates based on basic listening and visual checks among the hearing aids examined in this study demonstrated no improvement over those reported in the 1970's. The results re-emphasize the need for a national dialogue on this topic.