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The role of bone conduction hearing aids in congenital unilateral hearing loss: A systematic review

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Publication date: Available online 5 January 2017
Source:International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Author(s): C. Carrie Liu, Devon Livingstone, Warren K. Yunker
ObjectivesTo systematically review the literature on the audiological and/or quality of life benefits of a bone conduction hearing aid (BCHA) in children with congenital unilateral conductive or sensorineural deafness.MethodsA systematic search was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines using the PubMed, Medline, and Embase databases. Data were collected on the following outcomes of interest: speech reception threshold, speech discrimination, sound localization, and quality of life measures. Given the heterogeneity of the data for quantitative analysis, the results are qualitatively summarized.ResultsEight studies were included in the review. Four studies examined the audiological outcomes associated with bone conduction hearing aid implantation. There was a consistent gain in speech reception thresholds and speech discrimination, especially in noisy environments. Results pertaining to sound localization was inconsistent. The studies that examined quality of life measures reported a high usage rate of BCHAs among children. Quality of life improvements are reported with suggested benefit in the subdomain of learning.ConclusionGiven the potential benefits of a BCHA, along with the fact that it can be safely trialed using a headband, it is reasonable to trial a BCHA in children with congenital unilateral deafness. Should the trial offer audiological and/or quality of life benefits for the individual child, then BCHA implantation can be considered.



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