Otitis media with effusion is a highly prevalent condition in children and recurrence often occurs after surgical treatment with grommets. Repeated grommet insertion has its own problems of infection, perforation and scarring of the tympanic membranes, and continuity of providing amplification is not often achieved. As a result, a long-term debate rages over whether or not hearing aids should be preferred for these children. In this study the authors tested the validity of traditional concepts that children with hearing aids are often subjected to psychosocial impact. This was achieved by a questionnaire to parents comprising nine hearing aid related questions addressing negative associations, negative coping strategies and self esteem. Ninety-seven children participated in the study, 47 in the hearing aid group and 50 with grommets. The results were analysed statistically and showed no preference for negative ideas associated with hearing aids. The study has several limitations but it somewhat dissipates the traditional belief that hearing aids have a stigma attached, and there are options other than repeated insertion of grommets, with its attendant risks.
Hearing aids or grommets for children with OME?
Reviewed by Madhup K Chaurasia
The psychosocial impact of hearing aids in children with otitis media with effusion.
Madhup K Chaurasia
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust; University of Leicester, UK.View Full Profile