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The role of bone anchored hearing aids in children with Down syndrome
journal contributionposted on 2008-06-01, 00:00 authored by A L McDermott, Jo WilliamsJo Williams, M J Kuo, A P Reid, D W Proops
Objectives: To evaluate complication rates and outcomes of children with Down syndrome fitted with a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (Baha®). To evaluate whether the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid is a successful form of aural rehabilitation in children with Down syndrome from a patients' perspective. Study design: Retrospective case analysis and postal questionnaire study. Setting: The Birmingham Children's Hospital, UK. Methods: A total of 15 children were fitted with a Baha® between February 1992 and February 2007. The age range was 2-15 years. A postal questionnaire was sent to each family. The Glasgow Children's Benefit Inventory (GCBI) was used in this study. Outcome measures: Implantation results, skin reactions and other complications were recorded. Quality of life after receiving a Baha® was assessed with the GCBI. Results: All 15 patients are using their Baha® 7 days a week for more than 8 h a day after a follow-up of 14 months with continuing audiological benefit. No fixtures were lost, and skin problems were encountered in 3 (20%). Regarding quality of life, all 15 patients had improved social and physical functioning as a result of better hearing. Conclusions: Baha® has an important role in the overall management of individuals with Down syndrome after conventional hearing aids and/or ventilation tubes have been considered or already failed. This study has shown a 20% rate of soft tissue reaction and there were no fixture losses in this group. No significant increase in complication rates was identified in children with Down syndrome. Finally, there was a significantly improved quality of life in children with Down syndrome after receiving their Baha®. There was a high patient/carer satisfaction with Baha®. Two of our series had bilateral two stage fixture procedures without any complications. More consideration should be given to bilateral bone anchored hearing aids in this group. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.