Initial classification of pediatric hearing impairment using behavioral measures of early prelingual auditory development

Liang, S. et al. (2016) International Journal of Audiology: Published online 11th Jan 2016

Objective: Determine the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of pediatric hearing loss classification using behavioral evidence of early prelingual auditory development (EPLAD). Validate behavioral measures of EPLAD.

Design: EPLAD was assessed in a prospective sample of hearing-impaired children using the infant-toddler meaningful auditory integration scale (ITMAIS/MAIS). Hearing losses were classified using tone-burst auditory brainstem response (ABR) and ITMAIS/MAIS scores. This process was repeated in a second retrospective sample.

Study sample: The prospective sample was comprised of 139 hearing-impaired children under five years of age. Approximately equal proportions of mild-moderate, severe, and profound losses were included. The second retrospective sample was comprised of case records for 144 hearing-impaired children meeting the same selection criteria. This sample contained more than 80% profound losses.

Results: EPLAD trajectories reached different asymptotes after two years of age, depending on the severity of hearing loss, allowing children over this age to be classified. The sensitivity of EPLAD classifications was over 90%; specificity was over 82%; and accuracy was over 88%.

Conclusions: Behavioral evidence of EPLAD provides an initial means of classifying pediatric hearing losses which can facilitate initial treatment options prior to diagnostic evaluation with tone-burst ABR.

Read the article abstract here

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