A Systematic Review of the Efficacy of Phonics-Based Literacy Interventions for Children with Hearing Loss Public Deposited

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  • February 22, 2019
  • Kobylas, Marissa
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Stewart, Alex
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Purpose or Research Questions: For this systematic review, the researchers aimed to address the following question: "What is the efficacy of phonics-based literacy interventions for school age children with hearing loss?" Background: Phonemic awareness is defined as, “the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words” while phonics is “the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes… and graphemes” (National Reading Panel 2000). The reading difficulties that are seen in children who are deaf and hard of hearing may be closely connected to the inability to adequately address the phonological components of reading instruction, especially phonemic awareness and phonics skills (Leybaert, 1993). According to the most recent data from the National Center for Educational Statistics (2013), approximately 75% of children with hearing impairments spend 40% or more of their day in the regular education classroom. As Trezek (2007) discussed, “given this current placement arrangement, coupled with the move toward instructional strategies that include phonemic awareness and phonic skills, identifying successful means of accessing this type of instruction for students who are deaf or hard of hearing is critical.” Despite this need, there are currently no published systematic reviews on phonics-based literacy intervention for school age children with hearing loss. Methods/Proposed Methods: Five databases (CINAHL, ERIC, PsycINFO, Education Full Text, PubMed) were searched using the following terms: hearing loss, hearing impairment, deaf, hard of hearing, phonics, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, phoneme-grapheme, sound awareness, grapheme-phoneme, letter sound awareness, letter sound correspondence, letter knowledge. Studies were excluded if the participants used sign as their primary form of communication or were older than elementary school-age, and if the study was written in a language other than English. The initial search produced 148 articles in total. The team members completed title-abstract reviews, including independent and blinded title-abstract reviews on 34% of the articles with a reliability of 94%. The researchers then independently and blindly reviewed the full 13 remaining articles, attaining a reliability of 85%. The researchers completed quality appraisal of the 7 articles included in this review using the Joanna Briggs Appraisal Checklists. Results/Anticipated Results: Quality appraisals revealed an overall lack of high-quality studies completed in the area of phonics-based literacy intervention for children with hearing loss. The systematic search resulted in only case-control, case series, and case report study designs. Furthermore, the methodologies of the studies were rated as moderate quality at best, with two studies rated as adequate. Full results will be drawn from data extraction, which has not yet been completed. Discussion: Conclusions and clinical implications based on the results will be discussed. A major finding based on the systematic search and quality appraisals is a lack of studies regarding literacy interventions for children with hearing loss, especially related to phonics-based interventions. More research should be completed in this area in order to fully evaluate the efficacy of phonics-based (and other types) of literacy interventions for children with hearing loss.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Department of Allied Health Sciences. Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Student Research Day (9th: 2017: Chapel Hill, NC)

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