Short-Term Pediatric Acclimatization to Adaptive Hearing Aid Technology

Pinkl, J and Cash, EK and Evans, TC and Neijman, T and Hamilton, JW and Ferguson, SD and Martinez, JL and Rumley, J and Hunter, LL and Moore, DR and Stewart, HJ (2021) Short-Term Pediatric Acclimatization to Adaptive Hearing Aid Technology. American Journal of Audiology, 30 (1). pp. 76-92. ISSN 1059-0889

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Purpose This exploratory study assessed the perceptual, cognitive, and academic learning effects of an adaptive, integrated, directionality, and noise reduction hearing aid program in pediatric users. Method Fifteen pediatric hearing aid users (6–12 years old) received new bilateral, individually fitted Oticon Opn hearing aids programmed with OpenSound Navigator (OSN) processing. Word recognition in noise, sentence repetition in quiet, nonword repetition, vocabulary learning, selective attention, executive function, memory, and reading and mathematical abilities were measured within 1 week of the initial hearing aid fitting and 2 months post fit. Caregivers completed questionnaires assessing their child's listening and communication abilities prior to study enrollment and after 2 months of using the study hearing aids. Results Caregiver reporting indicated significant improvements in speech and sound perception, spatial sound awareness, and the ability to participate in conversations. However, there was no positive change in performance in any of the measured skills. Mathematical scores significantly declined after 2 months. Conclusions OSN provided a perceived improvement in functional benefit, compared to their previous hearing aids, as reported by caregivers. However, there was no positive change in listening skills, cognition, and academic success after 2 months of using OSN. Findings may have been impacted by reporter bias, limited sample size, and a relatively short trial period. This study took place during the summer when participants were out of school, which may have influenced the decline in mathematical scores. The results support further exploration with age- and audiogram-matched controls, larger sample sizes, and longer test–retest intervals that correspond to the academic school year.

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Journal Article
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American Journal of Audiology
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28 Apr 2022 12:55
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 02:04