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Aim To determine if the benefit of early confirmation of permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) on children's receptive language development is associated with fewer behavioural problems. Method Follow-up of a total population cohort of 120 children with PCHI of moderate or greater severity (≥40 decibels relative to hearing threshold level) (67 males, 53 females; mean age 7y 11mo, range 5y 5mo-11y 8mo) and 63 hearing children (37 males, 26 females; mean age 8y 1mo, range 6y 4mo-9y 10mo). The main outcome measures were the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) completed by teachers and parents and the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (VABS) which are completed on the basis of a parental interview. Results Children with PCHI had lower standard scores than hearing children on the Daily Living Skills (p=0.001) and the Socialisation (p=0.001) scales of the VABS. They had significantly higher Total Behaviour Problem scores on the parent-rated (p=0.002) and teacher-rated SDQ (p=0.03). Children for whom PCHI was confirmed by 9months did not have significantly fewer problems on the behavioural measures than those confirmed after that age (p=0.635 and p=0.196). Interpretation Early confirmation has a beneficial effect on receptive language development but no significant impact in reducing behavioural problems in children with PCHI. © The Authors. Journal compilation © Mac Keith Press 2010.

Original publication




Journal article


Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Publication Date





269 - 274