Introduction to the UWO PedAMP v1.0
Pediatric audiologists have a common goal of providing infants and children who have permanent hearing loss appropriate access to sound through the use of hearing aids. Suitable technology and evidence-based hearing aid fitting protocols (i.e., American Academy of Audiology [AAA], 2003; Bagatto, Scollie, Hyde & Seewald, 2010; British Columbia Early Hearing Program [BCEP], 2006; College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario [CASLPO], 2002; Modernising Children's Hearing Aid Services [MCHAS], 2005) support accurate and safe hearing aid fittings so that infants and children identified with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) have an opportunity to develop language and literacy skills. The aim of providing hearing aids is to improve functional auditory capacity and participation in hearing- and communication-specific situations. The provision of amplification is a process that includes the calculation of prescriptive targets based on accurate hearing assessment information, the selection of the physical and electroacoustic elements of a hearing aid, verification that the specified acoustical prescriptive targets have been achieved, and outcome evaluation of device effectiveness in daily life. Of these stages, outcome evaluation does not currently have a systematic approach described in current pediatric hearing aid fitting protocols. Additionally, monitoring of infants at high risk of developing late-onset or progressive hearing impairment or those with PCHI who do not wear hearing aids is an important aspect of pediatric audiology services. A lack of clinical tools with known normative properties, feasibility, validity, and utility has been a barrier to the development of an evidence-based evaluation protocol. The University of Western Ontario Pediatric Audiological Monitoring Protocol Version 1.0 (UWO PedAMP v1.0) consists of a battery of outcome evaluation tools and aims to systematically evaluate several auditory-related outcomes of infants and children with PCHI who may or may not wear hearing aids.