A randomized controlled comparison of NAL and DSL prescriptions for young children: Hearing-aid characteristics and performance outcomes at three years of age
Van Buynder, Patricia
MetadataShow full item record
Objective—To determine the influence of choice of prescription and other child-, family- and intervention-related factors on speech, language, and functional performance of hearing-impaired children by three years of age. Design and study sample—A randomized controlled design was implemented as part of a population-based, longitudinal study on outcomes of children with hearing impairment (LOCHI) in Australia. Two hundred and eighteen children were randomly assigned to either the NAL or the DSL prescription for first fitting of hearing aids. Their performance outcomes were evaluated. Results—Prescriptive targets were closely matched in children's hearing aids. There were not significant differences in children's language, speech production, or functional performance between prescriptions. Parents' ratings of children's device usage and loudness discomfort were not significantly different between prescription groups. Functional performance within the first year of fitting together with degree of hearing loss, presence of additional disabilities, and maternal education explained 44% of variation in language ability of children by three years of age. Conclusions—There was no significant association between choice of hearing-aid prescription and variance in children's outcomes at three years of age. In contrast, additional disability, maternal educational level, and early functional performance were significant predictive factors of children's outcomes.