DOI: 10.1044/2023_aja-23-00043 ISSN: 1059-0889

Pediatric Hearing Aid Daily Wear Time Is Significantly Impacted by Clinician–Family Language Discordance

Nicole Brigham, Emily C. Thompson, Erin M. Picou, Hilary Davis, Anne Marie Tharpe
  • Speech and Hearing


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential contribution of limited English proficiency on daily hearing aid wear time for children with hearing loss.


A retrospective chart review was completed to evaluate hearing aid wear time based on data logging information available at the time of a follow-up visit following an initial hearing aid fitting. Children were included in the study if they had permanent bilateral hearing loss and were less than 60 months of age at the time of their first follow-up visit. Wear time was compared between children who attended an interpreter-mediated appointment and those who did not have an interpreter present. The presence of an interpreter at the appointment was the study indicator that the family had limited English proficiency.


Children from families with limited English proficiency exhibited significantly shorter daily wear time ( M = 1.3 hr) than their peers whose families were English-proficient speakers, thus, having a shared language with their audiologists ( M = 5.2 hr).


Results of this study suggest that family–clinician language discordance might put children at greater risk of shorter hearing aid wear time than children whose caregivers share a common language with their child's audiologist. There can be many linguistic, cultural, and educational factors that contribute to hearing aid wear time in children whose families have limited English proficiency as well as different approaches to improving that wear time. Efforts should ensure that hearing and hearing aid–related information is accessible to all families, especially those with clinician–family language discordance. Such efforts can include, among others, training that improves clinicians' cultural and linguistic responsiveness to the diverse families they serve.

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