Collections > Scholarly Posters and Presentations > Influence of Hearing Aids on Speech and Language of Children with Mild Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review

Purpose or Research Questions: The purpose of this systematic review is to determine the influence of hearing aids on the speech and language outcomes of children with mild hearing loss. Background: One to six per 1000 children in the United States are born with hearing loss. While many of these children can be identified with Newborn Hearing Screening programs, children with mild degrees of hearing loss are more likely to be missed at these screenings. Mild hearing loss is often diagnosed later in life. Hearing loss can have significant negative effects on the development of speech and language. Hearing aids have been shown to mitigate these effects in children with greater degrees of hearing loss, however, there is less known about the impact hearing aids have on the speech and language development of children with mild hearing loss. Methods/Proposed Methods: CINAHL Plus and PubMed were searched by the authors during January 2017, with a supplemental search on Google Scholar. The following keywords were used to create the search: Mild sensorineural hearing loss OR mild hearing impairment OR mild hearing loss, hearing aids OR amplification, children OR pediatric, language OR speech. Studies on unilateral hearing loss, adult populations, greater degrees of hearing loss, and cochlear implants were not included in this review. The authors independently reviewed for inclusion/exclusion, quality appraisal, and data extraction for the systematic review, and used a consensus procedure for any differences. Results/Anticipated Results: The initial search yeilded 109 articles; 30 of these were selected for full text review. Seven articles met the criteria to be included in the systematic review. Included studies assessed the impact of hearing aids on speech and or language development in pediatric populations (birth-18 years) with mild hearing loss (20-45 dB HL). Analysis of the seven articles is still underway. Preliminary findings indicate hearing aids may provide benefit for speech and language development in children with mild hearing loss. Discussion (e.g., interpretation of results; potential contribution of anticipated results) Evidence exists that supports the idea that hearing aids provide benefit to the development of speech and language of children with mild hearing loss. Studies have produced variable results; while there is a generally positive impact, more evidence is needed to provide a strong clinical recommendation for the implementation of hearing aids in these children. Future research should be conducted in this area to provide a more complete understanding of the impact of mild hearing loss on speech and language development, as well as how hearing aids influence this developmental process.