P66 The impact of communication possibilities on psychosocial difficulties in children with hearing loss
Rationale: Psychosocial difficulties (e.g., peer problems, anxiety, hyperactivity) occur more often in children with hearing loss than in the general population. Previous findings suggest that psychosocial difficulties may be related to poorer communicative abilities. Compared to normal hearing peers, children with hearing loss exhibit less adequate communication skills, both hearing related (e.g., speech perception, especially in complex listening environments) and language related (e.g., pronunciation, vocabulary, and syntax). Also, it is suggested that children with hearing loss are less likely to make use of the psycho-emotional elements of vocal communication, such as interpreting intonation. Children with hearing loss therefore may be more likely to become isolated from their social environment.
Objective: The primary objective of this study is to determine the effect of specific communicative abilities in children with hearing loss on their psychological and social outcomes.
Study design: This is a prospective observational study. As from June 2021, we aim to include a total of 120 children (6-18 years) with hearing loss, who have at least one year experience with a hearing aid or cochlear implant. During the clinical appointment with their treating audiologist, the following tests will be performed: pure tone audiometry, speech perception in quiet for soft speech measured with the NVA, speech intelligibility in noise, measured with the Digits In Noise test (DIN), and tests on vocal emotion recognition and expression: EmoHI emotion recognition test, and the vocal emotion expression test. Language proficiency will be investigated with the Children’s Communication Checklist (CCC-2). Psychological and social functioning will be estimated by the hearing related quality of life questionnaire (HEAR-QL), and the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment parent/teacher/child reported Behavior Check Lists (CBCL/TRF/YSR). Using the test results, and demographic factors, a prediction model will be composed to predict psychological and social outcomes. With this model, we aim to gain more insight in the effect of communication abilities on observed psychosocial difficulties.
Results: Preliminary results on the first ~45 included participants will be presented at the Speech in Noise Workshop.