Salud Mental

Executive functions in children and adolescents with hearing loss: A systematic review of case-control, case series, and cross-sectional studies

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Jesús David Charry-Sánchez
Sofía Ramírez-Guerrero
María Paula Vargas-Cuellar
María Alejandra Romero-Gordillo
Claudia Talero-Gutiérrez

Abstract

Introduction. Children with hearing loss have been reported to perform lower in executive function and language tasks than their normal-hearing peers.

Objective. To describe EF performance profile in children and adolescents with hearing loss.

Method. Using different databases including PubMed, Scopus, and ScienceDirect, we conducted a systematic review of case-control, cross-sectional studies, and case series that evaluated executive function performance in children and adolescents with hearing loss with or without hearing aids, cochlear implants, and/or native sign language, since 2000 until April 2020. Fifteen studies were selected after quality assessment using Critical Appraisal Tools provided by Joanna Briggs Institute.

Results. The studies differed in the assessment tools, and the results obtained by different authors were inconsistent. However, these studies revealed that children and adolescents with hearing impairment have lower performance in working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and attention than their normal-hearing peers.

Discussion and conclusion. Executive function assessment tools are used indistinctively for both children with and without hearing loss. Consequently, as tools were designed for normal hearing population, results can significantly vary in the population with hearing impairment. Hence, it is important to establish a standardized protocol specifically adapted for this population.
Keywords:
Children, cochlear implant, executive functions, hearing aids, hearing loss

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