Outcomes of Early- and Late-identified Children at 3 Years of Age: Findings from a Prospective Population-based Study
Van Buynder, Patricia
Cowan, Robert S. G.
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Objectives—To address the question of whether, on a population level, early detection and amplification improve outcomes of children with hearing impairment. Design—All families of children who were born between 2002 and 2007, and who presented for hearing services below 3 years of age at Australian Hearing pediatric centers in New South Wales, Victoria and Southern Queensland were invited to participate in a prospective study on outcomes. Children’s speech, language, functional and social outcomes were assessed at 3 years of age, using a battery of age-appropriate tests. Demographic information relating to the child, family, and educational intervention was solicited through the use of custom-designed questionnaires. Audiological data were collected from the national database of Australian Hearing and records held at educational intervention agencies for children. Regression analysis was used to investigate the effects of each of 15 predictor variables, including age of amplification, on outcomes.