For children with developmental delays (DDs) of any kind (e.g., global DDs, autism spectrum disorder, and Down syndrome), it is essential to understand if a hearing loss may be contributing to these delays. However, toddlers with DDs may have difficulty understanding directions, may be uncomfortable with a new situation, or may simply not want to complete the hearing testing tasks. Regardless of the reasons, noncompliant behaviors have a negative impact on hearing testing, which requires reliable behavioral responses from the child.
The purpose of this study was to test a video intervention to improve hearing testing compliance in toddlers with developmental disabilities.
Double-blind randomized clinical trial.
Twenty-four children with DDs between 24 and 36 months of age.
Video model of the hearing testing procedures.
The primary child outcome measure was the number of hearing tests completed by the audiologist. Caregiver outcome included a parent survey of perceived stress level before and after the evaluation.
There was no significant difference between treatment and control groups regarding the number of hearing tests that were completed. Parents in the treatment group reported less stress following the evaluation as compared with parents of children in the control group.
Pre-exposure to the hearing testing procedures did not significantly improve patient compliance but may reduce caregiver stress. Given the high rates of noncompliance in toddlers with DDs, audiologists may benefit from multiple strategies to help improve testing compliance.
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved.