Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study
There is no high-quality evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early intervention for improving long-term outcomes of children with hearing loss, at a population level. This study aims to determine 1) the effectiveness of early intervention for improving long-term outcomes of children with hearing loss; 2) the factors influencing language, psychosocial, academic and mental health outcomes; and 3) the cost-effectiveness of early detection and early intervention.
About 450 Australian children born between 2002 and 2007 with permanent childhood hearing loss in the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria are enrolled in the study. About 50% of these children were identified at birth through universal newborn hearing screening and received early intervention, and the remaining received later intervention before 3 years of age. All received consistent audiological intervention from Hearing Australia, the national hearing service provider to children up to 26 years of age in Australia. At multiple time points, the children’s outcomes are evaluated and demographic characteristics are collected.
The LOCHI study findings have already contributed to evidence-based clinical guidelines for best practice management of children with hearing loss. The next phase of the study will investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early intervention.
Macquarie University, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Hear and Say Centre, the Shepherd Centre, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Centre and the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre.
This study is supported by funding provided by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01DC008080, and the Commonwealth Department of Health.