Spoken Expressive Vocabulary in 2-Year-Old Children with Hearing Loss: A Community Study.
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-11, 03:59 authored by Peter Carew, Daisy A Shepherd, Libby Smith, Tegan Howell, Michelle Lin, Edith BavinEdith Bavin, Sheena Reilly, Melissa Wake, Valerie Sung
Through a cross-sectional community study of 2044 children aged 2 years, we (1) examine the impact of hearing loss on early spoken expressive vocabulary outcomes and (2) investigate how early intervention-related factors impact expressive vocabulary outcomes in children with hearing loss predominantly identified through universal newborn hearing screening. We used validated parent/caregiver-reported checklists from two longitudinal cohorts (302 children with unilateral or bilateral hearing loss, 1742 children without hearing loss) representing the same population in Victoria, Australia. The impact of hearing loss and amplification-related factors on vocabulary was estimated using g-computation and multivariable linear regression. Children with versus without hearing loss had poorer expressive vocabulary scores, with mean scores for bilateral loss 0.5 (mild loss) to 0.9 (profound loss) standard deviations lower and for unilateral loss marginally (0.1 to 0.3 standard deviations) lower. For children with hearing loss, early intervention and amplification by 3 months, rather than by 6 months or older, resulted in higher expressive vocabulary scores. Children with hearing loss demonstrated delayed spoken expressive vocabulary despite whole-state systems of early detection and intervention. Our findings align with calls to achieve a 1-2-3 month timeline for early hearing detection and intervention benchmarks for screening, identification, and intervention.