- Published on 19 June 2013
The researchers took a sample of 11- to 18-year-old youths with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. They measured Youth Quality of Life-Research Instrument and Youth Quality of Life Instrument-Deaf and Hard of Hearing (YQoL-DHH) scores. The YQoL-DHH was composed of three domains: participation, self-acceptance/advocacy, and stigma-related quality of life.
A total of 157 individuals participated. Overall mean (SD) age was 14.1 (2.3) years, and the female-male ratio was 82:75. Forty-nine individuals (31.2%) were not using any technology, 45 (28.7%) were using hearing aids, and 63 (40.1%) were using cochlear implants. Mean age of unilateral or first cochlear implant was 62.9 months. Thirty-eight individuals (24.2%) attended schools with DHH programs, 55 (35.0%) attended schools without DHH programs, and 58 (36.9%) attended schools for the deaf. Statistically significant differences were noted in YQoL-DHH participation and perceived stigma scores between the groups when stratified by technology used and school setting.
These data suggest that the domains of quality of life as measured by our instrument differ significantly among youth based on technology used and school setting. Youth using no technology or cochlear implants tended to score higher than those using hearing aids in mainstream schools with or without DHH programs and in schools for the deaf. The YQoL-DHH instrument is able to detect differences in quality of life within a group of youth with severe to profound hearing loss.
Source: University of Minnesota