OBJECTIVES: Ear infections are the leading cause of hearing impairment among children worldwide and a major public health problem in many indigenous populations, yet representative studies of self-reported hearing impairment are currently scarce. The purpose of the present study was therefore two-sided; first to develop an item bank for the collection of data on hearing impairment among Greenlandic adolescents, and second to report data on the child reports on hearing impairment from a national questionnaire-based survey.
METHODS: The study describes the process of developing items measuring hearing impairment among schoolchildren, and reports data for their inclusion into a national questionnaire survey. The data formed part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC Greenland) 2018 survey including 2,273 students, corresponding to 47.6% of all Greenlandic schoolchildren in the age range from 10 to 16 years. Data analyses performed describe the data characteristics and the frequency of self-reported hearing impairment among Greenlandic schoolchildren. Binary logistic regression examined the associations of hearing impairment on school-related (risk) factors and self-rated health.
RESULTS: An average of 4% reported experiencing ear pain almost daily, and almost 10% reported ear pain at least weekly. Moreover, 3% reported having inflammation in the ear at least weekly, and 5% reported to have such impaired hearing that they were not at all able to follow what happened in school. Logistic regression showed that girls had significantly higher odds of low self-rated health, poor school environment and academic achievement below average when they had experienced impaired hearing. All ORs were statistically significant, varying from 1.85 (95% CI: 1.16-2.94) for low self-rated health, to 3.05 (95% CI 1.83-5.11) for feeling pressured by schoolwork. For boys the only significant association with impaired hearing was an academic achievement below average of 1.73 (95% CI 1.08-2.77).
CONCLUSIONS: The study confirms clinical knowledge and case studies that there are a significant proportion of Greenlandic adolescents who have experienced impaired hearing. Future studies may use questionnaire data to follow up on children with hearing impairment to be able to report changes over time and associations to school-related and social factors.
|Tidsskrift||International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology|
|Status||Udgivet - nov. 2019|