Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor

Susan D. Scollie

Abstract

The goals of the current work were to: 1) identify caregiver report questionnaires for inclusion in an outcome evaluation guideline for infants, toddlers, and preschool children who wear hearing aids and 2) evaluate the chosen tools to determine their usefulness for the population of interest. A critical review of auditory-related subjective outcome evaluation tools for infants, toddlers, and preschool children is presented (Chapter 2). Good psychometric properties and clinical feasibility were considered important elements for the guideline (Andresen, 2000). Existing norms for the chosen questionnaires were validated with normal hearing children from Canadian English-speaking families (Chapters 3 and 5). Finally, The University of Western Ontario Pediatric Audiological Monitoring Protocol (UWO PedAMP), how it was used to collect clinical data with children who wear hearing aids, and their performance on the questionnaires is provided (Chapter 4). Children with comorbidities and complex factors related to hearing aid use were also investigated.

The results of this work revealed two caregiver report questionnaires that were suitable for use within the UWO PedAMP (Chapter 2): the LittlEARS® Auditory Questionnaire (Tsiakpini, et al., 2004) and the Parents’ Evaluation of Aural/Oral Performance of Children (PEACH) Rating Scale (Ching & Hill, 2005). Both questionnaires were considered feasible for clinical use (Moodie, et al., 2011) and are supported by good psychometric properties. Norms for the questionnaires were found to be appropriate for use with normal hearing children (Chapters 3 and 5). Outcomes of children with hearing loss who wear hearing aids were investigated using the UWO PedAMP (Chapter 4). Results indicated typically developing children fitted with hearing aids displayed auditory development and performance similar to their normal hearing peers. Children with comorbidities displayed borderline normal auditory development which progressed as they got older. Children with complex factors related to hearing aid use displayed borderline normal development up to 12 months of age where it began to decline. This work also demonstrated that the UWO PedAMP can be used in a clinical setting to evaluate the outcome of hearing aid fitting to infants, toddlers, and preschool children. This is an important finding since outcome evaluation guidelines for this population are lacking.


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