University of Oulu

Tuohimaa, K., Loukusa, S., Löppönen, H., Välimaa, T., & Kunnari, S. (2022). Communication abilities in children with hearing loss – views of parents and daycare professionals. Journal of Communication Disorders, 99, 106256.

Communication abilities in children with hearing loss : views of parents and daycare professionals

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Author: Tuohimaa, Krista1,2; Loukusa, Soile1,2; Löppönen, Heikki3,4;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Logopedics, University of Oulu, Finland
2Child Language Research Center, University of Oulu, Finland
3Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
4Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-18


Introduction: Today, children with hearing loss (HL) are diagnosed and fitted with hearing devices at an early age. However, HL may still influence their communicative development. Thus, we need up-to-date research on how children perform in their everyday environments, such as at home or daycare. This study provides an overview of the communication abilities of early-diagnosed children with HL reported by parents and daycare professionals. The first aim of the study is to compare the results of children with bilateral hearing aids (BiHAs) or bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs) with those of children with normal hearing (NH) and with each other. The second aim of the study is to compare the views of the two respondents, parents and the daycare professionals. In addition, the effects of gender and nonverbal intelligence quotient (IQ) on the responses are explored.

Methods: The participants, aged 4;0–6;9, were 25 children with BiHAs, 29 children with BiCIs, and 64 children with NH. The Finnish version of the Children’s Communication Checklist-2 (CCC-2) was used to assess the communication skills of the participants.

Results: Group and nonverbal IQ had a significant effect on the General Communication Composite (GCC) score. Both groups of children with HL had poorer GCC scores than the children with NH, apart from the respondent. The BiHA-group had significantly lower scores than the NH-group on Speech, Syntax, Semantics, and Coherence subscales. The BiCI-group had significantly lower scores than the NH-group across all subscales of the CCC-2. The parents rated the participants significantly higher than the daycare professionals in Speech and Social Relations. In contrast, the daycare professionals rated the participants higher than the parents in Coherence, Inappropriate Initiation, Stereotyped Language, and Use of Context. Furthermore, gender influenced Coherence, Nonverbal Communication, Social Relations, and Interests, for which the girls performed better than the boys. The nonverbal IQ had an effect on Syntax, Semantics, and Use of Context, for which higher nonverbal IQ was associated with better performance.

Conclusions: On average the children with HL had poorer communication skills than the children with NH. Pragmatic difficulties were more common in the BiCI-group than in the BiHA-group. The respondents were not completely unanimous, which may be because of the different demands of different environments.

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Series: Journal of communication disorders
ISSN: 0021-9924
ISSN-E: 1873-7994
ISSN-L: 0021-9924
Volume: 99
Article number: 106256
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2022.106256
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
Funding: This study was funded by the Finnish Brain Foundation, the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Academy of Finland, the Eudaimonia Institute at the University of Oulu, and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology in the University of Eastern Finland.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (