No AccessAmerican Journal of AudiologyResearch Article9 Dec 2021

Perceived Listening Difficulty in the Classroom, Not Measured Noise Levels, Is Associated With Fatigue in Children With and Without Hearing Loss

    Purpose:

    The purpose of this study was to examine if classroom noise levels and perceived listening difficulty were related to fatigue reported by children with and without hearing loss.

    Method:

    Measures of classroom noise and reports of classroom listening difficulty were obtained from 79 children (ages 6–12 years) at two time points on two different school days. Forty-four children had mild to moderately severe hearing loss in at least one ear. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to evaluate if measured noise levels, perceived listening difficulty, hearing status, language abilities, or grade level would predict self-reported fatigue ratings measured using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Multidimensional Fatigue Scale.

    Results:

    Higher perceived listening difficulty was the only predictor variable that was associated with greater self-reported fatigue.

    Conclusions:

    Measured classroom noise levels showed no systematic relationship with fatigue ratings, suggesting that actual classroom noise levels do not contribute to increased reports of subjective fatigue. Instead, perceived challenges with listening appears to be an important factor for consideration in future work examining listening-related fatigue in children with and without hearing loss.

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