Problem/Objectives: Permanent childhood hearing loss has major negative impacts on children's health and development. To improve outcomes, universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) has been implemented widely. However, high-quality evidence on its efficacy was lacking. To address this evidence gap, we conducted the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study to directly compare outcomes of early- and late-identified children. This paper investigates whether early performance measured shortly after initial amplification predicts language development at 3 years of age. Methodology: This is a prospective, population-based study. We assessed outcomes at 6- and 12-months after amplification, and then at 3 and 5 years of age. Main outcome measures included directly-assessed language, receptive vocabulary, speech production; and parent-reported functional performance in everyday life. A range of demographic and audiological information was also collected at evaluation intervals. Results: About 450 children participated, and 3-year outcomes scores were available for 356 participants. Multiple regression analysis revealed that early language scores or functional performance ratings were significant predictors of 3-year outcomes. Other significant predictors included the presence or absence of additional disabilities, severity of hearing loss, and age at cochlear implant activation. Conclusions: Early performance, either directly-assessed language ability (PLS-4) or parent-reported functional ratings (PEACH), were significant predictors of 3-year outcomes; along with presence or absence of additional disabilities, severity of hearing loss, and age at Cl activation. Earlier implantation is possible with early detection of hearing loss via UNHS. Monitoring performance after initial amplification allows preventive strategies to be implemented early to improve outcomes.
|Number of pages||8|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 21|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
- Universal newborn hearing screening