Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview

Background: Many studies have shown increased academic problems in children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL). However, whether hearing devices can ameliorate the educational difficulties associated with UHL is not well studied. Therefore, the objective of the current systematic review was to answer the question: Do non-surgical amplification devices, bone-anchored hearing aids, and/or cochlear implants improve academic outcomes in school-aged children and adolescents with UHL? Methods: Embase, MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, APA PsycInfo, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Cochrane databases were searched from inception to 12/21/22. Published, peer-reviewed studies comparing academic outcomes in patients with UHL aged ≥ 5 and ≤ 19 years with and without hearing devices (non-surgical amplification devices, bone-anchored hearing aids, or cochlear implants) were included. Results of studies were qualitatively synthesized, and the risk of bias was evaluated with the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) Quality Assessment Tool. Results: A total of 5,644 non-duplicate publications were identified by the search, and four studies were included for synthesis, every one of which was investigating non-surgical amplification. One small, single-arm study demonstrated significant improvement in subjective classroom listening difficulties after a 3- to 4-month trial with a BTE hearing aid. The other three studies of non-surgical amplification devices showed no benefit across multiple academic outcomes with FM systems and conventional and CROS-style hearing aids. Discussion: The small sample sizes, heterogeneous and/or ill-defined study samples, and overall low quality of the available literature ultimately make it hard to draw definitive conclusions regarding non-surgical amplification devices’ effectiveness in improving academic outcomes in children with UHL. No articles were identified that studied cochlear implants or bone-anchored hearing aids. Further studies with high-quality study design, large sample sizes, and long-term follow-up are needed to answer this clinically important question.

This content is only available via PDF.