Fitting bone conduction hearing devices to children: audiological practices and challenges
International Journal of Audiology
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Objective: Evidence-based protocols for fitting air conduction hearing aids to children offers a vital resource for audiologists. Fitting protocols for providing BCHDs to children are not well-developed, leaving gaps in clinical practice. This work aims to document current practices and challenges of audiologists who fit BCHDs to children. Design: An online survey was distributed to paediatric audiologists in North America to describe their work with patients who use BCHDs. A retrospective file review was also conducted with a sample of clinics in North America to further understand practice patterns. Study sample: A total of 144 audiologists from North America responded to the online survey. Eleven audiologists from seven clinics in North America participated in the retrospective file review. Results: Results of the survey indicated that audiologists are seeking guidance on how to provide optimal amplification to children who use BCHDs. The aided audiogram is widely used to verify BCHD fittings. Audiologists reported uncertainty about providing optimal amplification to children who wear BCHDs. The file review revealed the routine use of the aided audiogram for verification as well as for validation. Conclusions: For children who use BCHDs, there is a need for clinically feasible electroacoustic verification to accompany appropriate outcome measures.