UCL Ear Institute


Assessment and validation of hearing aid fitting using electrophysiological and functional measures

The Newborn Hearing Screen Programme (NHSP) was introduced in England in 2002-2006 and although this significantly reduced the age when children with a permanent congenital hearing impairment (PCHI) are identified, language outcomes have remained below those of their hearing peers.

With the development of a method for objectively recording cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEP) to a variety of complex stimuli including speech tokens, it has allowed assessment of hearing aid benefit for speech sounds with babies. CAEP allows for assessments to take place at around 3-4 months and it uses short speech tokens which have high face validity for parents and rehabilitation teams because they are meaningful stimuli.

The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the role of CAEP on the decision whether and when to refer for cochlear implants and to see if CAEP influences age of hearing aid fitting. Comparing CAEP to behavioural responses will allow us to assess the accuracy of the CAEP in predicting a child’s level of hearing to speech tokens with and without the aids and whether it is a useful clinical tool.  

The researcher