Subjective Fatigue in Children With Unaided and Aided Unilateral Hearing Loss

Kim H.E. Bakkum, Emma M. Teunissen, Arno M. Janssen, Judith E.C. Lieu, Myrthe K.S. Hol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Fatigue is frequently observed in children with chronic diseases and can affect the quality of life (QoL). However, research in children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is scarce. Subsequently, no studies investigated the effects of hearing aids on fatigue in children. This study investigates subjective fatigue and hearing-related QoL in children with UHL. Furthermore, it evaluates the influence of hearing aids, subject-specific factors, and respondent-type on subjective fatigue. Study Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2020 until September 2020 at the department of otorhinolaryngology in a tertiary referral center. Methods: The primary outcome was the difference in subjective fatigue and hearing-related QoL between children with unaided UHL, aided UHL, and normal hearing. Subjective fatigue and hearing-related QoL were measured using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ Multidimensional Fatigue Scale (PedsQL™-MFS) and Hearing Environments and Reflection on Quality of Life (HEAR-QL™) questionnaires. Results: Along with 36 aided children with UHL, 34 unaided and 36 normal-hearing children were included. Child reports revealed significantly more cognitive fatigue in children with aided UHL than children with normal hearing (median difference 12.5, P =.013). Parents reported more fatigue in children with UHL compared to normal-hearing siblings. Especially children with aided UHL seemed at increased risk for fatigue. Children with UHL scored lower on hearing-related QoL than children with normal hearing. No apparent differences were found in fatigue and QoL between children with unaided and aided UHL. Conclusion: Children with unaided and even aided UHL seem to experience more subjective fatigue and lower hearing-related QoL than children with normal hearing. Prospective longitudinal studies are required to investigate the influence of hearing aids on fatigue and QoL in individual patients. Level of Evidence: 3 Laryngoscope, 2021 Laryngoscope, 133:189–198, 2023.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalLaryngoscope
Volume133
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Unilateral hearing loss
  • bone conduction device
  • fatigue
  • hearing aid
  • quality of life

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