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Prevalence of additional disabilities with deafness

Executive Summary

With the advances in hearing screening methods, it is expected previous estimates of the prevalence of additional disabilities with hearing loss may no longer be accurate. 

A thorough search of the published literature was conducted using a number of electronic databases. The search strategy clearly defined the search terms and parameters for accepting papers for review. The literature search identified 51 relevant papers, of which 39 papers were excluded from review as the data was not specific to the aims of this report. One abstract was excluded as at the time of the review the full paper had not been published in the journal. Altogether 12 papers were included in the review.

The findings from the current review are:

  • The prevalence of additional disabilities in children with hearing loss identified three areas of published research:
  • Visual impairment: range of prevalence= 4-57%
  • Neurodevelopmental disorder: range of prevalence= 2-14%
  • Speech Language Disorder: range of prevalence= 61-88%
  • The prevalence of deafness in children with other disabilities identified three areas of published research:
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD): range of prevalence= 2-4.2%
  • Cerebral Palsy: range of prevalence= 2-13%
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD): prevalence= 2%
  • The literature search has highlighted the overall evidence of research on the prevalence of additional disabilities in children with deafness, and the prevalence of deafness in children with disabilities, is very low. 
  • More research is required in this area. A follow up study similar to the one conducted by Fortnum and Davis (1997) is much needed.  

 

You can download the full report hereReport for NDCS.pdf

 

Our thanks to NDCS for assistance with this study.