Quality of life outcomes for children with hearing impairment in Singapore

Valerie Looi*, Zheng Zheng Lee, Jenny H. Y. Loo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the hearing-related quality of life (hearing-QOL) of children with hearing loss in Singapore using hearing aids (HAs) and/or cochlear implants (CIs). Their health-related QOL (health-QOL) as well as their families' health-QOL were compared with normally hearing (NH) children and their families.

Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited families (i.e., children aged 2-18 years and their parents) of NH children (n=44), children wearing HAs (n=22) and children wearing CIs (n=14). Hearing-QOL was assessed using the parent-reported Children Using Hearing Devices QOL questionnaire. General health-QOL was assessed using parent and child-reported measures from the PedsQL inventory consisting of the Generic Core Scales, General Well-being Scale and Family Impact Module. The questionnaires were self-administered for children aged 8-18 years, and interviewer-administered for children aged 5-7 years.

Results: The NH children and their families had significantly higher general health-QOL scores compared to the children with hearing loss and their families. This indicates that hearing loss significantly impacts on the well-being of children and their families. Congruence between parent and child reports was only observed in the NH group. Parents of children wearing HAs rated their child's overall hearing-QOL significantly higher than parents of children wearing CIs. Family household income was the only significant predictor of child hearing-QOL scores with parents from the middle income families rating their child's hearing-QOL significantly poorer than parents from high income families.

Conclusion: Overall, NH children and their families have higher self-rated general health-QOL than children with hearing loss and their families, with children using HAs providing higher hearing-QOL than those using CIs. Evaluating both general health and hearing specific QOL from both the child and their parent/caregiver is worthwhile, allowing a more holistic measure of real-life outcomes and better individualised clinical care. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-100
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • quality of life
  • cochlear implants
  • hearing aids
  • hearing impairment
  • outcomes


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