OBJECTIVE: To examine usage patterns of hearing aids and cochlear implants in children up to three years of age, how usage changes longitudinally, and factors associated with device usage.
DESIGN: Parent report and Parent's Evaluation of Aural/oral Performance of Children (PEACH) data were obtained at six and twelve months after hearing-aid fitting or cochlear implant switch-on, and again at three years of age. The effect of device use on auditory functional performance was investigated using the PEACH questionnaire.
STUDY SAMPLE: Four hundred and thirteen participants from the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study were included for analysis.
RESULTS: For users of hearing aids, higher usage at three years was associated with higher maternal education, and more severe hearing loss. For users of cochlear implants, higher usage was associated with higher maternal education and the absence of additional disabilities. Higher PEACH scores were associated with higher usage scores. After allowing for the effects of demographic characteristics, device use was not a significant predictor of functional performance.
CONCLUSIONS: Sixty-two percent of children achieved consistent use (> 75% of waking hours) within the first year of receiving a hearing aid or a cochlear implant, and 71% by three years of age.
- device use
- hearing aids
- cochlear implants
- functional performance
- predictors of usage