Early Hearing Detection and Vocabulary of Children With Hearing Loss.

The primary purpose of the current study was to examine the impact of the current EHDI 1-3-6 policy on vocabulary outcomes across a wide geographic area | Pediatrics

Background: To date, no studies have examined vocabulary outcomes of children meeting all 3 components of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) guidelines (hearing screening by 1 month, diagnosis of hearing loss by 3 months, and intervention by 6 months of age). A secondary goal was to confirm the impact of other demographic variables previously reported to be related to language outcomes.

Results: The combination of 6 factors in a regression analysis accounted for 41% of the variance in vocabulary outcomes. Vocabulary quotients were significantly higher for children who met the EHDI guidelines, were younger, had no additional disabilities, had mild to moderate hearing loss, had parents who were deaf or hard of hearing, and had mothers with higher levels of education.

Conclusions: Vocabulary learning may be enhanced with system improvements that increase the number of children meeting the current early identification and intervention guidelines. In addition, intervention efforts need to focus on preventing widening delays with chronological age, assisting mothers with lower levels of education, and incorporating adults who are deaf/hard-of-hearing in the intervention process.

Yoshinaga-Itano, C. et al. (2017) Early Hearing Detection and Vocabulary of Children With Hearing Loss. Pediatrics. Vol. 140 (no. 2) e20162964

Association of Hearing Impairment and Subsequent Driving Mobility in Older Adults

Hearing impairment (HI) is associated with driving safety (e.g., increased crashes and poor on-road driving performance). However, little is known about HI and driving mobility | The Gerontologist

Image source: Nicolas Alejandro - Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Image source: Nicolas Alejandro – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Purpose of the Study: This study examined the longitudinal association of audiometric hearing with older adults’ driving mobility over 3 years.

Results: Individuals with moderate or greater HI performed poorly on the UFOV, indicating increased risk for adverse driving events (p < .001). No significant differences were found among older adults with varying levels of HI for driving mobility (p values > .05), including driving cessation rates (p = .38), across time.

Implications: Although prior research indicates older adults with HI may be at higher risk for crashes, they may not modify driving over time. Further exploration of this issue is required to optimize efforts to improve driving safety and mobility among older adults.

Full reference: Edwards, J.D. et al. (2017) Association of Hearing Impairment and Subsequent Driving Mobility in Older Adults. The Gerontologist. 57 (4)pp. 767-775. 

Declining Prevalence of Hearing Loss in US Adults Aged 20 to 69 Years

As the US population ages, effective health care planning requires understanding the changes in prevalence of hearing loss | JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery

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Question: What changes have occurred in the prevalence of age- and sex-specific hearing loss during the past decade for adults aged 20 to 69 years?

Findings: Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, this study found that while the prevalence of hearing loss has continued to decline among adults aged 20 to 69 years, adult hearing loss is associated with increasing age, sex, race/ethnicity, educational level, and noise exposure.

Meaning: These results are consistent with a delayed onset of hearing loss to older ages and increased hearing health care needs as the US population grows and ages.

Full reference: Hoffman, H. et al. (2017) Declining Prevalence of Hearing Loss in US Adults Aged 20 to 69 Years. JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. Vol. 143 (no. 3) pp. 274-285

The Association between Hearing Loss, Postural Control, and Mobility in Older Adults

Degraded hearing in older adults has been associated with reduced postural control and higher risk of falls. Both hearing loss (HL) and falls have dramatic effects on older persons’ quality of life (QoL). A large body of research explored the comorbidity between the two domains | Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

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Image source: Julita B.C. – Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Purpose: The aim of the current review is to describe the comorbidity between HL and objective measures of postural control, to offer potential mechanisms underlying this relationship, and to discuss the clinical implications of this comorbidity.

 

Results: Of 211 screened articles, 7 were included in the systematic review. A significant, positive association between HL and several objective measures of postural control was found in all seven studies, even after controlling for major covariates. Severity of hearing impairment was connected to higher prevalence of difficulties in walking and falls. Physiological, cognitive, and behavioral processes that may influence auditory system and postural control were suggested as potential explanations for the association between HL and postural control.

Conclusions: There is evidence for the independent relationship between HL and objective measures of postural control in the elderly. However, a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms underlying this relationship is yet to be elucidated. Concurrent diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of these two modalities may reduce falls and increase QoL in older adults.

Full reference: Agmon, M. et al. (2017) The Association between Hearing Loss, Postural Control, and Mobility in Older Adults: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. Vol. 28 (no. 06) pp. 575-588

Risk Factors Associated With Early Childhood Hearing Loss

In this study, we examined the association between risk factors for hearing loss and early childhood hearing status (normal hearing, congenital hearing loss, or delayed-onset hearing loss) | American Journal of Audiology

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Method: A retrospective data review was completed on 115,039 children born from 2010 to 2012. Data analyses included prevalence rates, odds ratios, and Fisher exact tests of statistical significance.

Results: Ninety percent of children were born with no risk factors for hearing loss; of those, 99.9% demonstrated normal hearing by 3 years of age. Of the 10% of children born with risk factors, 96.3% demonstrated normal hearing by age 3, 1.4% presented with congenital hearing loss, and 2.3% demonstrated permanent hearing loss by age 3. Factors that placed children at the highest risk of congenital hearing impairment were neurodegenerative disorders, syndromes, and congenital infections. Factors that placed children at the highest risk of developing permanent postnatal hearing loss were congenital cytomegalovirus, syndromes, and craniofacial anomalies.

Conclusions: Certain risk factors place a child at significantly greater risk of congenital hearing impairment or developing permanent hearing loss by age 3. Follow-up diagnostic testing should remain a priority for children with certain risk factors for hearing loss.

Full reference: Dumanch, K.A. et al. (2017) High Risk Factors Associated With Early Childhood Hearing Loss: A 3-Year Review. American Journal of Audiology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 129-142

Social Support and Coping on Quality of Life Among Elderly With Age-Related Hearing Loss

The consequences of hearing loss hinder the everyday life of older adults and are associated with reduced well-being | American Journal of Audiology

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Image source: Andrea Squatrito – Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Aim: The research aim was to explore the influence of hearing problems, various coping strategies, and perceived social support on quality of life.

Results: Quality of life was predicted by perceived social support and the number of comorbid diseases (i.e., the physical, psychological, environmental, and social quality of life was better the greater the extent of perceived social support and poorer the more diseases from which the participants suffered).

Conclusions: Perceived social support may be a relevant factor to focus on in auditory rehabilitation programs, in particular, for participants who communicate little support in hearing-related situations and are, hence, at a relative disadvantage. The involvement of significant others in counseling could facilitate the everyday life for older adults with age-related hearing loss and their significant others

Full reference: Moser, S. et al. (2017) The Influence of Social Support and Coping on Quality of Life Among Elderly With Age-Related Hearing Loss. American Journal of Audiology. Vol. 26(6) pp. 170-179. 

The Action Plan for Hearing Loss in Wales

This framework sets out what NHS Wales wants to achieve in an integrated health and social care system for D/deaf/people living with hearing loss.

The Framework is in three parts:

  • Part 1 introduces the overarching vision and the outcomes the authors want to achieve for people who are D/deaf or living with hearing loss.
  • Part 2 sets out specific actions that will help to improve and deliver sustainable and equitable integrated health and social care services nationally.
  • Part 3 specifies the leadership and monitoring arrangements.

Full document: Integrated Framework of Care and support for people who are D/deaf or living with hearing loss