A unique databank that profiles children with hearing loss will help researchers globally understand why some children adapt and thrive, while others struggle.
The Victorian Childhood Hearing Impairment Longitudinal Databank has collected information for eight years. Its data shows that language development and speech in hearing-impaired children lags behind other children, despite advancements in earlier detection and intervention in the past decade.
The paper’s lead author, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s (MCRI) Dr Valerie Sung, says researchers world-wide can use the databank to answer questions around childhood hearing loss.
“This register can help us understand why some children with a hearing loss do so well, while others experience greater difficulties. Universal newborn hearing screening is detecting hearing loss earlier than ever before, usually within a few weeks of birth.”
“Children with hearing loss have very early access to hearing aids, early intervention services and for some, cochlear implantation. It was expected that hearing-impaired children would quickly come to enjoy the same language and educational outcomes as their hearing peers. However, early clinical diagnosis and intervention does not guarantee equality in health outcomes, with language and related outcomes of children with hearing loss remaining on average well below population means and the children’s true cognitive potential.”
“Demonstrating the reasons for this inequality has been hampered until now by the lack of population based prospective research.”
Source: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. “Victorian child hearing-loss databank to go global: A unique databank that profiles children with hearing loss will help researchers globally understand why some children adapt and thrive, while others struggle.” ScienceDaily, 30 August 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190830092107.htm