Database "Children with a hearing loss"
Database for research, quality improvements and statistical analysis of users of the "Centre for special education and counseling of children and young people with a hearing loss" (Specialrådgivningen til børn og unge med høretab) at Center for Høretab, Region Syddanmark and Center for Døvblindhed og Høretab, Region Nordjylland. The participants are all the preschool children who receives counseling and intervention from the center.
Since 199? the two centers have given counseling and education to children, families and other professionals around children with a hearing loss in Jutland and Funen of Denmark, and since 2014 this has been extended to all of Denmark. Around 120 preschool children and their families are enrolled at any time.
The centers have decided to take advantage of this special position in Denmark to improve our knowledge about these children by making a database with background information about the children and their families as well as the children's outcome in language, speech and communication. How do the children do during and at the end of our counseling period - and how well prepared are they for school? In order to point our attention to important factors at an early stage for early intervention, do we find any indications in their background on how well they fare?. Which areas of language and communication are most challenging to children with a hearing loss? Are there any specific areas that are esspecially challenging to Danish children with a hearing loss? And how do we adapt our interventions to each child's specific needs - especially when the development is slow or not satisfactory?
These are examples of some of the research and quality improvement questions that we want to be able to answer, so that we can focus our intervention efficiently at the most important areas - so that the children can spend as much time as possible with other children and family.
The purposes of the study is:
1. To establish knowledge about the auditory, language and communicative outcome of children with a hearing loss in preschool age in order to improve the quality of the interventions at the center.
2. To give data for longitudinal studies of correlations between background factors of the children and their auditory, language and communicative development.
3. To obtain knowledge of the background factors in order to get a clearer picture of the group of children with a hearing loss, for example degree of hearing loss, hearing equipment, other disabilities, family situation, languages of the family, type of day care etc.
4. Establish data for projects and research collaborations with Universities and other parties.
Description of the cohort
The parents of all children enrolled at the Center's counseling are asked to let their children participate in the study. The parents will do the surveys every 6 months in order to have updated knowledge about the child and the family situation.
Data and biological material
Survey data about the children (parents and the counselor from the centers are informants):
Basic data: Date of birth, county, audiological center
Audiological data: type and degree of hearing loss, diagnosis, date of diagnose
Audiological treatment: Hearing equipment (hearing aids/ cochlear implants) and extra technical equipment
Other challenges and disabilities
Family data: siblings, parent's social supplement for reduction of working hours due to child's disability.
Language: Mother tongue, other languages in the home (including use of signs)
Daycare, school placement
Types of interventions from the Centre for special education and counseling of children and young people with a hearing loss
Data from the journals:
Test and evaluation results of language, speech and communication.
Eventually - if possible at a later stage of the study - also test results of cognitive and social skills.
Collaborating researchers and departments
The first research project planned in collaboration with Associate professor Marit Carolin Clausen, Ph.D., at Institute for Language and Communication (Institut for Sprog og Kommunikation) at University of Southern Denmark focuses on the children's phonological development.
It is already planned to continue with other aspects of language acquisition.