Trends in amplification
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Outcome evaluation is an important stage in the pediatric hearing aid fitting process, however a systematic way of evaluating outcome in the pediatric audiology population is lacking. This is in part due to the need for an evidence-based outcome evaluation guideline for infants and children with hearing loss who wear hearing aids. As part of the development of a guideline, a critical review of the existing pediatric audiology outcome evaluation tools was conducted. Subjective outcome evaluation tools that measure auditory-related behaviors in children from birth to 6 years of age were critically appraised using a published grading system (Andresen, 2000). Of the tools that exist, 12 were appraised because they met initial criteria outlined by the Network of Pediatric Audiologists of Canada as being appropriate for children birth to 6 years of age who wear hearing aids. Tools that were considered for the guideline scored high in both statistical and feasibility criteria. The subjective outcome evaluation tools that were ultimately chosen to be included in the guideline were the LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire (Tsiakpini et al., 2004) and the Parents' Evaluation of Aural/Oral Performance of Children (PEACH) Rating Scale (Ching & Hill, 2005b) due to the high grades they received in the critical review and their target age ranges. Following this critical review of pediatric outcome evaluation tools, the next step was for the Network Clinicians to evaluate the guideline (Moodie et al., 2011b).