Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Janis Cardy & Dr. Marlene Bagatto

Abstract

The Ontario Infant Hearing Program (OIHP) provides early interventions (i.e., hearing aids) to children who are hard of hearing (CHH) because research consistently demonstrates their benefit to language outcomes. The impact of pre-fitting language abilities on these outcomes are not well understood.

This retrospective cohort analysis examined the performance of OIHP children on the Preschool Language Scale-4 at the time of (n=47), and after (n=19), initial hearing aid intervention. Regression analyses revealed that, before amplification, hearing loss severity predicted language abilities. However, after amplification, severity of hearing loss did not uniquely predict language achievement, but rather was driven by its relationship with language at the time of amplification.

These findings suggest that hearing aids fitted early may provide a preservation benefit to the language achievement of CHH, and that this benefit is greatest for children at highest risk (i.e., children with the weakest initial language, and most severe hearing loss).


Share

COinS