Quality of Life in Children with Hearing Impairment: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Lauren Roland, Caroline Fischer, Kayla Tran, Tara Rachakonda, Dorina Kallogjeri, Judith E.C. Lieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Objective To determine the impact of pediatric hearing loss (HL) on quality of life (QOL). Data Sources A qualified medical librarian conducted a literature search for relevant publications that evaluate QOL in school-aged children with HL. Review Methods Studies were assessed independently by 2 reviewers for inclusion in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Results From 979 abstracts, 69 were identified as relevant; ultimately, 40 articles were included in the systematic review. This review revealed that children with HL generally report a lower QOL than their normal-hearing peers and that QOL improves after interventions. The extent of these differences is variable among studies and depends on the QOL measure. Four studies using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) had sufficient data for inclusion in a meta-analysis. After studies were pooled, statistically and clinically significant differences in PedsQL scores were found between children with normal hearing and those with HL, specifically in the social and school domains. Statistically significant differences were also noted in total scores for children with unilateral HL and in the physical domain for children with bilateral HL as compared with those having normal hearing; however, these differences were not clinically meaningful. Conclusions Our analysis reveals that decreased QOL in children with HL is detected in distinct domains of the PedsQL. These domains - school activities and social interactions - are especially important for development and learning. Future work should focus on these aspects of QOL when assessing HL in the pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-219
Number of pages12
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • pediatric hearing loss
  • quality of life

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