Fatigue in Children With Unilateral and Bilateral Hearing Loss

Sampat Sindhar, Tzyynong L. Friesen, Delaney Carpenter, Bradley Kesser, Judith E.C. Lieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) experience similar levels fatigue as children with bilateral hearing loss (BHL) or normal-hearing (NH). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Two tertiary care otolaryngology practices. PARTICIPANTS: Children, 5 to 18 years old, with UHL or BHL and their parents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale (MFS) survey. RESULTS: Overall response rate was 90/384 (23%). Mean age of child participants was 10.7 years old (standard deviations [SD] 3.1); 38 (42%) were men and 52 (58%) were women. Sixty-nine (77%) children had UHL, 21 (23%) had BHL. Children with BHL (mean 65, SD 21) and UHL (mean 75, SD 17) reported greater levels of fatigue than children with NH (BHL difference -15, 95% confidence interval [CI] -25 to -5; UHL difference -6, 95% CI -13-1.2). Parent-proxy reports for children with BHL (mean 67, SD 20) and UHL (mean 76, SD 20) reported more fatigue than NH (BHL difference -22, 95% CI -33 to -12; UHL difference -14; 95% CI -20 to -8). Sub-section scores for general, sleep, and cognitive fatigue were higher for children with BHL and UHL than NH. CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: Children with UHL and BHL reported significantly more fatigue than children with NH, and children with BHL reported more fatigue than UHL. These findings underscore the need to increase auditory rehabilitation and educational resources for children with UHL and support the use of the PedsQL MFS questionnaire as a measure to follow disability experienced by children with HL as they undergo hearing rehabilitation.


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