Hearing screening outcomes in Inuit children in Nunavik, Quebec, Canada

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Ayukawa, Hannah ; Lejeune, Pierre ; Proulx, Jean François (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v63i0.17925
  • Subject: hearing screening, Inuit, otitis media
    mesheuropmc: otorhinolaryngologic diseases

Objectives. Hearing loss is highly prevalent among Inuit children in Canada. Hearing screening at kindergarten age has been carried out in Nunavik by trained Inuit technicians since 1986. In this study, we determined what percentage of children fail their initial hearing screening at age 5-6 years and compared this initial result with the last hearing test. We also report the type of hearing loss observed at the last test. Methods. Results compiled in a clinical database were analysed. At age 5-6 years, 524 children (born 1990-1994, 84% coverage) were tested and 515 children were retested at a later date. Screening failure was defined as >22 dB pure tone average (.5k, 1k, 2kHz) in either ear. Observations on ear condition at the last test were used to determine type of hearing loss. Results. Nineteen percent (101 children) failed the hearing screening at age 5-6 years and 12 % failed on the later test. When those who failed the first test were retested, 58 had improved and 43 remained with a hearing loss. Twenty-one children who had initially passed the hearing screening were found to have a hearing loss at retest. The majority of the hearing losses were due to otitis media. Conclusion. Hearing screening and retesting remains necessary due to the high prevalence of hearing loss found in this population and the fluctuating nature of this problem.Keywords: hearing screening, Inuit, otitis media
  • References (2)

    1. Julien G, Baxter J, Crago M. Chronic Otitis Media and Hearing Deficit among Native Children of Kuujuarapik (Northern Quebec): A Pilot project. Can J Public Health 1987; 78: 57-61.

    2. Eriks-Brophy A,Ayukawa H.The Benefits of Sound Field Amplification in Classrooms of Inuit Students of Nunavik: A Pilot Project. Lang Speech Hear Services Schools 2000;31:324-335.

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