The influence of hearing aid use on outcomes of children with mild hearing loss

Elizabeth A. Walker, Lenore Holte, Ryan W McCreery, Meredith Spratford, Thomas Page, Mary Pat Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined the effects of consistent hearing aid (HA) use on outcomes in children with mild hearing loss (HL). Method: Five- or 7-year-old children with mild HL were separated into 3 groups on the basis of patterns of daily HA use. Using analyses of variance, we compared outcomes between groups on speech and language tests and a speech perception in noise task. Regression models were used to investigate the influence of cumulative auditory experience (audibility, early intervention, HA use) on outcomes. Results: Full-time HA users demonstrated significantly higher scores on vocabulary and grammar measures compared with nonusers. There were no significant differences between the 3 groups on articulation or speech perception measures. After controlling for the variance in age at confirmation of HL, level of audibility, and enrollment in early intervention, only amount of daily Ha use was a significant predictor of grammar and vocabulary. Conclusions: The current results provide evidence that children's language development benefits from consistent HA use. Nonusers are at risk in areas such as vocabulary and grammar compared with other children with mild HL who wear HAs regularly. Service providers should work collaboratively to encourage consistent HA use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1611-1625
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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