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Title: Effects of Remote Microphone Hearing Aids (RMHAs) on listening-in-noise, attention and memory in school-aged children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
Author: Stavrinos, Georgios
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 0451
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is characterised by poor Auditory Processing (AP) in the presence of normal hearing. Children with APD have poorer Speech-in-Noise (SIN) skills than their peers and are often reported to have poor attention and Auditory Working Memory (AWM). Management approaches include auditory training and Remote Microphone Hearing Aids (RMHAs). Research on the effects of RMHAs on children with APD is scarce. Some studies claim improvements in SIN performance following RMHA intervention, others suggest that AWM might not be assisted, while the system's effect on attention remains unexplored. Also, the relationship between types of attention and AP skills has not been adequately explored and APD diagnostic criteria do not routinely include attention measures despite evidence linking the two. This thesis aims to address these gaps in the field through three studies. The first two studies examine the effects of RMHAs on measures of SIN and AWM but also on the novel measures of attention and spatial listening in children with APD using randomised controlled trials. The third study is the first to use correlation analyses to examine the relationship between AP skills and attention in a sample of only APD-diagnosed children. Furthermore, this study looked at a newly proposed APD diagnostic process which included measures of attention with the aim to better inform APD management. Overall, findings from the clinical trials did not find improvements in any of the attention tests following RMHA use for 6 months, while spatial listening was not negatively affected. In the final study, a strong relationship between divided attention and the dichotic digits test (an AP test) was revealed. Finally, the proposed diagnostic procedure provides useful information to the clinician in terms of management, which may potentially better address children's needs. All findings are discussed in the context of the studies' limitations.
Supervisor: Bamiou, D-E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available