30 Nov Impact of Mild Hearing Loss on Childhood Behavior and School Performance
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Carlijn M. P. le Clercq, MD
Speech and Language Pathology, Pediatrics, Otolaryngology
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Recently, more reports have been publishes about the prevalence of slight to mild hearing loss among children in the general population. These studies showed that slight hearing loss is common, also within our population-based cohort in the Netherlands. Slight hearing loss is often scored as “not relevant”. We wanted to examine if we could find associations of hearing thresholds in children with performance scores in everyday life.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We cannot infer any causality with our study, but we did observe a small association of hearing thresholds with school performance and attention and social problems. It could be that children with slight hearing loss already miss useful auditory information in daily life.
We would like to raise awareness that possibly slight hearing loss may have more effects in daily life then often assumed. Children with slight hearing loss may already benefit from a seat in the front of the classroom close to their teacher. And for children who seem to have trouble keeping up at school or whose attention span is limited, a hearing test could be considered.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: More research is needed to gain information on daily life implications of slight to mild hearing loss among children. Especially longitudinal research would provide useful information whether these associations could be replicated and what the direction of these associations may be.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Although the actual effects of findings like ours are probably very small, it is possible that we need to revise our definition of clinically relevant hearing loss among children in the future.
le Clercq CMP, Labuschagne LJE, Franken MJP, et al. Association of Slight to Mild Hearing Loss With Behavioral Problems and School Performance in Children. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online November 27, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaoto.2019.3585
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