Original Research

Outcomes and device use in children with bone-conduction hearing devices in South Africa

Chéri van Zyl, Christine Rogers, Silva Kuschke
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 71, No 1 | a1005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v71i1.1005 | © 2024 Chéri van Zyl, Christine Rogers, Silva Kuschke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2023 | Published: 19 February 2024

About the author(s)

Chéri van Zyl, Department of Audiology, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; and Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Christine Rogers, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Silva Kuschke, Department of Audiology, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; and HearX Group, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Bone-conduction hearing devices (BCHD) can provide hearing solutions in settings where middle ear pathology is rife.

Objectives: Describe functional hearing outcomes and device use of children fitted with BCHD.

Method: Retrospective review of 79 children fitted with BCHD between January 2017 and May 2022. Outcomes included device use and subjective reports measured with the Parents’ Evaluation of Aural/Oral Performance of Children (PEACH) and the Teachers’ Evaluation of Aural/Oral Performance of Children (TEACH). Analysis of variance established association between mean data logging and type and degree of hearing loss. Thematic analyses were done for qualitative outcomes.

Results: Average usage was 7.0 h/day (5.4 SD; range 0.1–24). PEACH ratings indicated 93.3% of children wore their BCHD ‘always’ or ‘often’, with 80% displaying Typical auditory performance at 1-month follow-up. TEACH ratings indicated 84.2% of children wore their BCHD ‘always’ or ‘often’, with 78.9% showing typical auditory behaviour. Increased usage was noted for conductive, mixed, moderate and severe hearing losses. There was a mean delay of 17.2 months (23.4 SD; range 0–90) between age of diagnosis and fitting. Thematic analyses identified two main themes: advantages and barriers to BCDH use.

Conclusion: Average device use fell short of the internationally recommended 10 h/day. Higher BCHD use was associated with higher functional listening performance scores. Long waiting times for medical or surgical intervention for conductive hearing losses can delay BCHD fitting.

Contribution: Limited information is available to examine outcomes in children fitted with BCHD.


Keywords

paediatrics; bone conduction hearing devices; outcomes; caregiver feedback; teacher feedback; PEACH; TEACH.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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