Objectives: To assess the long-term compliance and usability of the non-implantable, adhesive bone conduction hearing aid system in children. Review of patient demographics, compliance and continued use. Identification of factors that impact on future patient selection.
Methods: Retrospective case series review of all children aged 5 and above fitted with the adhesive bone conduction hearing aid at a paediatric tertiary centre in the UK between 2015 and 2019. Data collected from medical and audiological records. Patient demographics, skin complications, patient feedback and changes in hearing aid provision were recorded.
Results: 82 children (40 female, 42 male) were provided with 89 adhesive hearing devices. To date 72 (87.8%) of the fitted patients, continue to use the device daily with minimal reported skin complications. Of the 10 patients that no longer use the adhesive aid, 5 no longer use any hearing device at all and the remaining 5 patients use an alternative hearing system. These include spectacle aids (n = 2) and bone anchored hearing implant (n = 3).
Conclusion: Adhesive aid products are reported to provide comparable audiological results to the commercial softband hearing aids. They provide an excellent alternative in the treatment of conductive hearing loss without the costs and possible complications of a surgical intervention. A compliance rate of 87.8% of all patients fitted with the adhesive system demonstrates a high level of patient satisfaction. The device may also provide an appropriate stepping stone to implanted device once a child reaches the age in which an autonomous decision can be made. Limitations of the device have been the variability in the longevity of the adhesive adaptor and interference with headscarves, hats and glasses with a low frequency of transient minor skin reactions reported.
Osborne MS, Child-Hymas A, McDermott AL. Longitudinal study of use of the pressure free, adhesive bone conducting hearing system in children at a tertiary centre. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Nov;138:110307. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2020.110307. Epub 2020 Aug 8. PMID: 32810685.